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3  1833  03239  2067 

Gc  941 . 9501  D719s 
Donovan,  Daniel. 
Sketches  in  Carbery,  county 










HERE  are  many  interesting  places  within 
the  confines  of  Carbery,  which  supply  the 
antiquarian,  historian,  naturalist,  and  artist 
with  ahundant  inducements  for  examining  into  the 
records  and  curiosities  of  antiquity ;  studying  through 
authentic  sources  the  warlike  achievements,  the  social 
customs  and  manners  of  past  ages  and  of  more  recent 
times,  and  investigating  the  natural  phenomena,  and 
admiring  the  beauties  of  scenery  displayed  in  so 
charming  a  manner  where'er  we  turn  our  gaze. 

Both  visitor  and  tourist  are  well  repaid  for  their 
toil  and  trouble  whilst  wandering  through  its  hills 
and  valleys,  by  observing  views,  marine  and  land- 
scape, at  once  picturesque,  stern,  beautiful,  and  diver- 
sified in  the  highest  degree — bold,  rocky  headlands, 
precipitous  cliffs,  rugged  mountains,  and  gently  wind- 
ing and  romantic  harbours  and  bays. 

The  more  sublime  and  imposing  scenery  of  Kil- 

larney  and  Grlengarriff,  Ban  try  and  (jougane  Barra, 

-has  been  already  fully  dilated  on  by  the  eloquent 

vi  Preface. 

pens  of  clever  writers,  or  transferred  to  canvas  with 
artistic  skill  by  the  magic  brushes  of  skilful  painters. 
Though  Carbery  may  be  comparatively  barren  of 
interest,  when  placed  in  contrast  with  such  spark- 
lino-  gems  of  the  Emerald  Isle,  still,  however,  it 
possesses  sufficient  attractions  along  its  picturesque 
sea-coast  to  entitle  it  to  more  than  a  passing  notice 
either  in  poetry  or  prose. 

The  "  Sketches  in  Carbery,"  written  from  time  to 

time  at  irregular  intervals,  during  leisure  hours,  have 

already  partly  appeared  in  the  columns  of  the  West 

Cork  Eagle.     I  have  now  collected  them  together 

•  for  publication  in  the  form  of  a  small  volume. 

They  are  more  or  less  of  a  superficial  character, 
skimming  over  the  surface,  and  wanting  perhaps  in 
the  statistics  and  practical  details  which  charac- 
terize the  hand-books  of  a  country  or  locality.  They 
+reat  in  a  rambling  manner,  as  the  name  would 
imply  (a  sort  of  OUa  Podrida),  of  the  local  history, 
legendary  lore,  antiquities,  and  topography  of  various 
interesting  places  throughout  the  extensive  baronies 
of  Carbery,  county  Cork. 

They  do  not  embrace  or  give  in  consecutive  order 
a  complete  account  of  the  various  towns,  and  it  is 
more  than  probable  that  some  topics  of  interest  have 
been  either  forgotten  by  the  writer  or  only  casually 
referred  to.  I  have  endeavoured,  however,  as  far  as 
my  limited  information  and  knowledge  of  the  subject 



Preface.  v 

could  lead  me,  to  condense,  and  arrange  together,  all 
the  leading  facts  and  prominent  occurrences,  whether 
historical  or  otherwise,  which  I  thought  might  inte- 
rest and  engage  the  reader's  attention.     I  am  fully- 
aware  that  many  imperfections  of  style,  and  perhaps 
some  errors,  hoth  historical  and  archaeological,  will 
be  discovered,  and  which  are  inseparable  from  the 
labours  of  one  who  is  comparatively  a  tyro  in  the 
domains  of  literature :  for  such  I  must  only  solicit 
the  reader's  lenient  criticism  and  pardon.     I  have 
ventured  on  the  publication  of  the  present  little 
work  more  in  the  hope  that  it  may  stimulate  and 
induce  others  better  qualified  for  tasks  of  a  similar 
nature,  to  rescue  from  oblivion  the  fading  memories 
of  by-gone  days,  and  bring  to  light  some  of  the 
arcana  of  Irish  local  history  and  antiquarian  lore, 
than  under  the  impression  that  I  could  contribute 
anything  stamped  with  the  impress  of  originality  or 
worthy  of  permanent  record. 

Unfortunately  the  "manuscript  materials"  relating 
to  ancient  Carbery  are  few  and  far  between,  and  very 
difficult  of  access.  In  the  compilation  and  com- 
pletion of  the  following  pages,  information  relating  to 
the  subjects'  discussed  has  been  principally  obtained 
from  Dr.  Smith's  "  History  of  Cork,"  written  acentury 
ago,  a  work  displaying  great  talent  and  indefatigable 
research,  and  generally  correct  in  description;  "  Corca 
Laidhe"  (Miscellany  of  the  Celtic  Society),  by  the 

vi  Preface. 

late  John  O'Donovan,  LL.  D.,  M.  E.  I.  A.,  one  of 

the  greatest  Irish  scholars  of  any  age;  Lewis's 
"Topographical  Dictionary;"  and  the  manuscript 
writings  of  John  Collins,  of  Hyross.  The  remainder 
has  been  supplied  from  personal  research  and  obser- 
vation, so  far  as  the  striking  natural  features  of  the 
country,  and  its  stories  and  legends  are  concerned. 

All  the  scattered  fragments,  which  could  be  col- 
lected have  been  linked  together,  and  arranged  into 
somewhat  of  a  uniform  shape,  and  though  the  result 
must  be  looked  on  more  as  a  compilation,  than  as  an 
original  production,  I  entertain  the  hope  that  the 
matters  referred  to  will  prove  of  some  interest, 
though  they  may  not  supply  much  information  to 
those  who  desire  to  be  acquainted  with  the  antiqui- 
ties of  the  country,  sketches  of  the  surrounding 
scenery,  and  the  social  movements  of  the  inhabitants 
during  the  lapse  of  centuries. 

During  the  present  century  the  language  of  ancient 
Erin,  her  ethnology,  her  laws,  and  her  social  customs 
and  manners,  have  received  considerable  attention  at 
the  hands  of  scholars  in  various  countries,  who 
have  devoted  much  time  to  deciphering  the  mouldy 
and  decaying,  bat  important  manuscripts,  many 
of  which  were  lying  neglected  in  the  State  Paper 
Offices,  repositories,  and  archives  throughout  Great 
Britain  and  continental  Europe.  They  have  traced 
up    to    the    fountain    head    the     primitive    Celtic 

Preface.  vii 

stock,  and  the  ancient  language  of  this  branch  of 
the  Aryan,  or  Indo  European  races — the  proge- 
nitors of  progress  and  colonization  throughout 

Zeuss  and  Max  Miiller  in  Germany,  Professor 
Blackie  and  Mr.  Skene  in  Great  Britain,  and  Lani- 
gan,  O'Curry,  Drs.  O'Donovan  and  Petrie,  &c,  in 
Ireland,  and  a  host  of  other  distinguished  writers, 
some  of  whom  have  passed  off  the  world's  stage,  and 
others  who  are  still  busily  engaged  in  learned  re- 
searches, have  all,  by  their  united  efforts,  rescued 
from  chaos  and  destruction  the  language  and  litera- 
ture of  Ireland. 

A  great  amount  of  interest  must  be  naturally 
attached  to  the  antiquarian  relics,  and  literary  re- 
mains of  a  country,  the  remote  history  of  which  is 
wrapt  up  in  so  much  mystery,  which  was  styled  by 
Phoenicians  and  Milesians  Inisfail  (the  Isle  of  Des- 
tiny), Ogygia  (the  most  ancient  land),  and  Ierne  (the 
Sacred  Isle),  and  in  more  recent  times  Insula  Sanc- 
torum et  Doctorum.  The  latter  appellation  it  in- 
herited during  the  three  centuries  which  preceded 
the  invasion  of  the  fierce  and  hardy  Norsemen.  This 
was  a  sort  of  golden  age,  when  Ireland  shone  forth 
as  a  bright  statin  the  world  of  learning,  "  domi 

Celebrated  seats  of  art  and  science  flourished 
then  both  in  the  north  and  south.    Bangor,  Armagh, 

viii  Preface. 

Cork,  Lismore,  Rosscarbery,  &g  ,  were  celebrated  for 
the  learning  of  the  teachers  and  professors  who 
taught  and  lectured  in  their  academic  halls. 

In  the  Royal  Irish  Academy  are  still  preserved 
many  rare  and  costly  reliques  of  remote  ages,  and 
invaluable  manuscripts,  which  prove  a  considerable 
advance  in'the  arts  and  sciences  amongst  our  ances- 
tors. The  writer  of  the  Prospectus  to  the  Celtic 
Society  (1847)  remarks  truly  and  eloquently: — 
"  Ireland  has  yet  Celtic  scholars,  of  ripe  and  accu- 
rate learning,  profound  and  erudite  antiquarians, 
and  was  never  more  rich  in  that  wise  and  public 
spirit,  which  is  alive  to  the  honour,  and  athirst  for 
a  true  knowledge  of  the  country." 

Unfortunately,  to  one  engaged  in  writing  an 
ephemeral  work,  such  as  the  present,  several  obstacles 
are  thrown  in  the  way,  as  no  doubt  many  valuable 
manuscripts  treasured  up  within  the  ancient  domiciles 
and  ecclesiastical  edifices,  like  Sherkin  andTimoleague 
Abbeys,  were  destroyed  or  lost  during  the  conflicts 
and  civil  strife  of  former  times ;  so  that  it  is  only 
through  more  general  and  remote  sources,  information 
pertaining  to  the  subject  matter  can  be  obtained. 

In  the  arrangement  and  completion  of  this  little 
volume,  I  have^een  deeply  indebted  to  my  learned 
friends,  Dr.  P.  "W.  Joyce,  M.  P.  I.  A.,  whose  valuable 
services  have  been  so  kindly  bestowed,  and  gladly 
accepted  of  by  me  in  the  correction  of  the  proof  sheets 



whilst  going  through  the  press ;  and  also  to  Eichard 
Adams,  Esq.,  B.  L.,  of  the  editorial  staff  of  the- 
Freeman,  for  many  useful  suggestions. 

I  shall  now,  without  any  further  preface,  request  of 
my  readers  to  accompany  me  through  the  following 
chapters,  whilst  I  introduce  them  to  some  of  the  re- 
markable places  in  Carbery  and  its  Hundred  Isles, 
entertaining  at  the  same  time  the  hope  that  they 
may  be  interested  and  pleased  with  the  contents  of 
this  little  "  Sketch  Book." 

Siibbereen,  1st  March,  1876. 

_  A 



Carbery,  its  ancient  History — The  Old  Milesian  Families 
who  settled  there — Mac  Carthy  Eeagh  and  Kilbrittan 
Castle — Scenery  along  the  sea-coast — A  Geological 
Legend — Physical  aspect  of  the  Barony ;  its  Mineral 
Wealth,  Climate,  Picturesque  Towns  and  Villages  near 
the  sea — Skibbereen,  Dunmanway,  Clonalsilty,  &c. — 
Ecclesiastical  Euins  and  Castles,  &c 


Baltimore,  derivation  of  name,  antiquity — Expedition  against 
this  place  in  1537  from  Waterford — Charter  of  incorpo- 
ration in  1613  from  James  I. — Colonised  by  Sir  Thomas 
Crooke — Celebrated  Algerine  invasion  of  Baltimore, 
20th  June,  1631— Eeturned  two  M.  P.s  from  A.  D.  1 613 
to  1800,  when  it  was  disfranchised — List  of  M.  P.s — 
Lord  Baltimore,  colonizer  of  Maryland,  derived  his  title 
from  the  place — Migration  of  the  O'Driscolls  to  Spain, 
the  original  country  of  their  ancestors — Battle  of 


xii  Contents. 


A  trip  down  the  Hen  river — Scenery  along  the  banks — Kelics 
and  ruins  of  the  past — Abbey  de  Sancto  Mauro, 
founded  1172 — Abbeystrowry — View  of  the  adjoining 
country — Innishbeg  island  in  the  river,  where  Book  of 
Dues  was  presented  to  St.  Pachtnan,  first  Bishop  of 
Eosscarbery,  by  the  chieftains  of  Corca  Laidhe — Einga 
Eoga  island,  and  castle — Innisherkin  (Inis  Arcain),  its 
Franciscan  Abbey  (A.  D.  1460),  subterranean  cham- 
bers— General  description  of  these  curiosities  of  the 
Pagan  age, 28 


Sherkin  continued — Castle  surrendered  to  Captain  Harvey, 
A.  P.  1601,  after  battle  of  Kinsale— The  O'Driscolls 
during  the  15th  century — Full  account  of  the  invasion 
from  Waterford — Digression  upon  the  ancient  Celtic 
writing  known  as  the  Ogham — Cromlechs,  their  history 
— The  various  forms  of  habitation  in  ancient  times — 
Eaths,  Duns,  Cahirs,  Crannogues,  &c,        ...        46 


Cape  Clear  (Insula  Sanctte  Claris) — The  Gasconane  Sound — 
Captain  Boyton's  daring  swim  through  the  Gasconane 
(1875)  from  the  American  packet — Lands  atTrafraska 
Bay,  near  Paltimore — General  view  of  the  island,  size, 
population,  scenery — Carbery's  Hundred  Isles  surround 
us — Curious  separation  of  Inisfadda  (Long  Island,  near 
Skull)  into  three  distinct  portions  by  a  thunderstorm 
in  the  9th  century — Sherkin  and  Cape  Clear  most 
probably  united  to  the  mainland  as  a  promontory  in 
remote  ages — The  Fisheries  of  Cape,  climate,  longevity, 
great  physical  strength  and  endurance  of  the  inhabi- 
tants— Smith  and  Lewis's  favourable  opinion  of  them 
— Distress  in  Cape  during  1862 — Father  Leader's 
noble  exertions  on  behalf  of  the  poor  people — Eeview 
of  Father  O'Eourke's  work  on  the  Irish  Famine  of 
1847 — Benevolence  of  Baroness  Burdett  Coutts  towards 
the  islanders,       ...  60 

Contents.  xiii 


Cape  Clear  continued — History  of  St.  Kieran,  patron  saint  of 
the  island — Description  of  a  severe  storm  in  Cape 
~~  during  February,  1874 — Dunanore  Castle,  and  .the 
legend  connected  with  it — General  description  of  the 
ancient  feudal  castles,  their  architecture  and  internal 
economy — Beautiful  view  from  Dun-an-Ore — A  glance 
at  Irish  history  during  the  close  of  the  16th  cen- 
tury,   80 


The  O'Driscoll  pedigree — The  aboriginal  Milesian  colonists  of 
Carbery — Sir  Walter  Coppinger — Petition  against  his 
encroachments  by  the  Mayor  and  Burgesses  of  Balti- 
more—The Telegraph  Station  on  Cape  very  important 
during  the  American  war — The  old  Lighthouse,  and 
magnificent  sea  view  from  there — The  Signal  Tower — 
Fir  breogach — Lough  Errul ;  habits  and  manners  of 
the  people — Cape  Clear,  a  miniature  kingdom,  an 
"Imperium  in  Imperio"  down  to  A.  D.  1700 — Crua- 
thar  O'Karevaun  (O'Driscoll)  the  celebrated  giant — 
Agriculture  of  the  island,  &c,  &c,      ....        99 


The  Skeams,  Lough  Hyne — The  rapids,  lakej  surrounding 
mountains,  said  by  geologists  to  be  the  result  of  vol- 
canic action — Scenery  in  the  neighbourhood — Poem  on 
Lough  Hyne — Legend  about  the  old  castle — Labhra 
Loingseach — Bill  Barrett's  midnight  visit  in  search  of 
the  golden  treasure  hidden  beneath  the  castle— Saint 
Bridget's  chapel  and  well — Pillar  stone  and  sculptured 
cross — Story  connected  with  them — View  from  the 
adjoining  eminence 116 


Coast  line  from  Lough  Hyne  to  Castlehaven — Tithe  riots — 
Naval  engagement  in  Castletownsend  Harbour,  between 
the  Spanish  forces  under  Don  Pedro  de  Zuibar  and  the 

xiv  Contents. 


English  under  Admiral  Levison,  on  the  6th  December, 
1601 — Battle  of  Kinsale — Departure  of  O'Donnell 
from  Castlehaven  for  Spain — Mr.  Froude's  discovery 
about  the  real  cause  of  O'Donnell's  death — Interesting 
relic  of  the  O'Donnells  in  the  Boyal  Irish  Academy — 
Remarkable  Cathair  and  ruins  of  Clochan  on  Knock- 
dromma  Hill,  near  Castletownsend — Beautiful  view 
from  it,  &c., 130 


Myross — The  O'Donovans — Baunlaghan — Smith's  account  of 
the  Dadagh  Scene  at  Blarney  Castle — History  of  the 
Clancahill  or  senior  branch  of  the  O'Donovans — The 
Mealagh  river — Castle  Donovan — A  condensed  account 
of  the  O'Donovans'  genealogy  down  to  the  beginning 
of  the  present  century — Castle  Ivor — Lough  Cluhir 
and  the  legend  about  Ivor— John  Collins  of  Myross,  a 
brief  account  of  his  life — Myross  continued — The  Cis- 
tercian Abbey  of  Carrigilehy — The  old  fishing  hamlet, 
and  the  wreck  of  the  smuggled  cargo  of  brandy — 
Squince  House,  seat  of  the  Clanloughlin  O'Donovans — 
Shipwreck  at  Blind  Harbour — Dean  Swift  and  the 
"Carberia  Rupes"— "Harrington's  Lights,"  1832— 
Mysterious  appearance  at  Union  Hall — Letters  on  this 
wonderful  occurrence  from  a  writer  in  the  New  Monthly 
Magazine,  and  Doctor  Donovan,  senior,  of  Skibbe- 
reen, 153 


Glandore,  origin  of  the  name— Fairy  legend  about  the  Prin- 
cess Qeena — Carraic  Cleena — Remarks  on  both  by 
Drs.  Todd  and  Joyce,  M.  R.I.  A. — Glandore  Castle — 
The  Fisheries — Spirited  exertions  of  James  Redmond 
Barry,  Esq. — Poem  on  Glandore— Capture  of  a  whale 
— Myross  House — The  Leap — Smith's  account  of  the 
dangerous  passage  across  the  ravine — Ballinlough — 
Lis-an-Earla  and  the  legend  of  Tir-na-nOgue — Lough 
Adereen,  and  the  floating  islands — Fairs,  faction  fights, 
and  festivities — Philosopher  Thompson  and  the  co- 
operative communities — Scenery  between  Ross  and 
Glandore — Pouladav,  curious  formation — Ballyverine 




House,  or  Coppinger's  Court,  and  a  short  sketch  of 
Sir  Walter  Coppinger— Benduff  Castle,  its  history— 
The  Morrises — Penn,  &c, 184 


Rosscarbery,  of  ancient  origin— Great  seat  of  sanctity  and 
learning  in  former  times— Professor  Spalding  on  the 
antiquity  of  Irish  Histories — Ross  Aillithir  (wood  of 
the  pilgrims :  Joyce)— Scenery  in  the  neighbourhood 
— St.  Fachnan,  patron  saint  of  Ross,  founds  an  ancient 
abbey  here— Dr.  Lynch,  Killala,  on  derivation  of  Ross 
— Former  extent  of  diocese— Legend  about  St.  Fach- 
nan— Toumpleen-na-Fachna — Hantner  and  Camden 
on  Ross — St.  Brendan — Retrospective  view  of  the  dis- 
tinguished bishops  of  this  venerable  See— Ross  Cathe- 
dral, general  account — Curious  case  of  trance,  or 
suspended  animation — Modern  pilgrimage  to  the  tomb 

of  the  Rev.  John  Power,  P.P Ross  graveyard,  &c  — 

Conclusion, 216 




Carbery,  its  ancient  History — The  Old  Milesian  Families  who 
settled  there — Mac  Carthy  Reagh,  and  Kilbrittan  Castle — Scenery 
along  the  Sea-coast— A  G-eological  Legend — Physical  Aspect  of 
the  barony  ;  its  Mineral  Wealth,  Climate,  Picturesque  Towns  and 
Villages  near  the  Sea — Skibbereen,  Dunmanway,  Clonakilty,  &c. 
— Ecclesiastical  Ruins  and  Castles,  &c. 

|  HE  ancient  name  of  Carbery  was  Corca 
Laidhe,  which.,  translated,  means  the  marshy 
territory  belonging  to  the  tribe  of  Laidhe 
or  Lug  Ith  (the  lesser  Ith),  who  was  son  of  Ith,  the 
paternal  uncle  of  Milesius.  (See  "  Miscellany  of  the 
Celtic  Society").  It  is  said  in  the  "Annals  of  the  Four 
Masters"  thatLuglth  acompaniedthe  sons  of  Milesius 
to  Ireland,  about  fourteen  centuries  before  the  Chris- 
tian Era  He  was  ancestor  to  the  O'Driscolls,  whom 
we  must  rightly  consider  as  the  aboriginal  Milesian 
or  Gradelian  settlers  in  Carbery.  Moore,  in  one  of 
his  melodies,  alludes  to  the  generally  accepted  opinion 
of  the  Milesians  having  come  originally  from  Spain 
to  Ireland  as  colonists  : 

"  They  came  from  a  land  beyond  the  rjea, 
And  now  o'er  the  western  main, 
Set  sail  in  their  good  ships  gallantly 
From  the  sunny  land  of  Spain." 

2  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

Corca  Laidhe  territory  extended  formerly  from 
Kenmare  river  on  the  west  to  the  Bandon  river  on 
the  east.  Its  northern  boundaries  were  not  so  well 
defined,  and,  the  country  being  mountainous  and 
barren  in  that  direction,  in  all  probability  the  Ban  try 
(Meallach)  and  Bandon  rivers  and  the  mountain 
range  between  Dunmanway  and  Bantry  formed  the 
limits  of  this  territory,  which  was  reduced  consider- 
ably in-  extent  shortly  after  the  Anglo-Norman 
invasion  of  Ireland.  It  comprised  within  its  area 
39  parishes,  including  a  large  tract  of  country  at 
present  situated  in  the  baronies  of  Bear,  Bantry, 
Kinalea,  Kinalmeaky,  Ibane  and  Barryroe.  In  fact 
this  ancient  territory  formerly  exceeded  in  size  several 
of  the  present  Irish  counties. 

The  surface  of  the  land  during  the  12th  and  13th 
centuries  presented  a  very  different  aspect  from  what 
it  now  exhibits.     Large  tracts  were  covered  with 
marshes,  bogs,  and  moorlands,  which  at  present  pro- 
duce rich  crops  and  form  good  pasture  land.    Forests 
of  oak,  birch,  alder,  fir,  and  yew  were  also  thickly 
scattered  over  the  country.     The  fir  trees  must  have 
grown  in  greater  abundance  than  the  other  varieties, 
as  their  remains  are  more  abundant  in  the  bogs  than 
the  relics  of  all  the  rest  combined.    In  the  far  distant 
-  past  Corca  Laidhe  must  have  been  a  very  wild  country 
in  the   interior,  thinly  populated,   a  large   portion 
covered  with  marshes  and  primeval  forests,  watered 
by  numerous   streams,   and   having   a   very   damp 
climate.     Nevertheless,    along   the    sea-coast   there 
were  traces  of  cultivation  and  advancement,  where 
it   presented   the   same    picturesque    and   romantic 
aspect  which  it  displays  at  present. 

So  far  back  as  the  reign  of  the  Boman  Emperor 
Adrian,  in  the  2nd  century,  Ptolemy,  the  celebrated 

Sketches  in  Car  ben/. 


geographer  and  astronomer  of  that  period,  was 
familiar  with,  the  coast  of  Carbery.  In  one  of  his 
maps  he  prominently  marks  out  the  Mizen  Head 
(Notium  Promontoriuni),  and,  also,  describes  the 
territory  as  being  inhabited  by  the  "  Iberi,"  which 
points  significantly  to  the  origin  of  the  inhabitants 
from  a  Spanish  source — Iberia  being  the  old  name 
of  Spain.  Considerable  traffic  formerly  prevailed 
between  Spain  and  the  inhabitants  residing  between 
Baltimore  and  Berehaven.  Spanish  colonists  settled 
down  along  the  coast,  and  intermarried  with  the 
original  settlers.  The  Spanish  type  of  feature  amongst 
many  of  their  descendants  is  evident  to  the  most 
casual  observer  even  at  present. 

Corca  Laidhe  was  originally  co-extensive  with 
the  diocese  of  Eoss,  founded  by  St.  Fachna,  one  of 
the  O'Driscoll  race,  in  the  6th  century.  Long  ' 
before  the  English  invasion  the  O'Mahonys,  whose 
stronghold  formerly  was  in  the  neighbourhood '  of 
Bandon  (Drohid  Mahon),  made  a  raid  upon  the 
O'Driscoll  territory  and  possessed  themselves  of  the 
western  portion  of  Corca  Laidhe,  bordering  the  sea 
called  Ivahah  or  Evagh  (the  western  land),  which  • 

comprised  the  parishes  of  Kilmoe,   Skull  (Scoole) 
Kilcrohane,  Durrus,  Kilmaconogue,  and  Caheragh! 
Along  the  coast  they  erected  the  castles  of  Bossbrinj 
Ardintenant,  Leamcon,  and  the  three  castles  at  Three 
Castle  Head ;  also,  Dunbeacon  and  Dunmanus  castles.  ^ 

The  O'Mahony,  of  Kossbrin,  in  the  reign  of  Queen 
Elizabeth  was  a  celebrated  pirate.  Sir  George  Carew 
attacked  his  castle,  and  battered  down  the  western  ^ 

side  of  it.  _  A  very  valuable  old  manuscript  is  still 
extant,  entitled  the  "Psalter  of  Kossbrin."    It  gives  -' 

a  detailed  account  of  the  family  history,  and  exploits 
of  the  O'Mahonys.     After  the  Anglo-Norman  inva- 

2*  ) 




4  Sketchesi'n  Garbery. 

si  on  of  1170  further  encroachments  were  made  on 
this  territory  hj  the  English,  and  also  by  the  Irish 
septs,  who  were  driven  out  of  their  original  seats  in 
the  counties  of  Limerick  and  Tipperary.  A  sort  of 
triangular  duel  took  place,  the  Barrys,  the  Butlers, 
and  the  Fitzgeralds  attacking  the  Mac  Carthys,  the 
O'Mahonys,  the  O'Sullivans,  and  the  O'Donovans, 
who  in  their  turn  fell  back  in  no  amiable  mood  how- 
ever on  the  O'Driscolls,  who  came  off  third  best,  the 
greater  part  of  their  territory  being  swallowed  up. 

In  the  year  1192  the  O'Sullivans,  who  had  been 
originally  located  about  Cnoc-Raffon  and  Clonmel 
(Cluain-Meala),  in  the  present  county  Tipperary, 
were  forced  to  migrate  to  the  south,  and  wrested  from 
the  O'Driscolls  that  portion  of  Corca  Laidhe  now 
known  as  the  baronies  of  Bear  and  Bantry.  The 
Barrys  and  O'Cowhigs  seized  on  the  eastern  portion 
\  of  the  principality,  now  Ibane  and  Barryroe.    Along 

the  coast  in  this  vicinity  the  latter  erected  the  castles 
of  Dundeide,  Dunworley,  and  Doneen,  whilst  the 
Barrys  erected  near  Ross  the  castle  of  Rath-Barry, 
the  modern  name  of  which  is  Castle  Freke.  The 
O'Donovans,  about  the  same  period,  viz.  the  close 
of  the  12th  century,  retreated  to  the  south  from  their 
ancestral  domains  on  the  banks  of  the  river  Maigue, 
county  Limerick,  where  they  occupied  a  territory 
called  Cairbre  Aebha  (beautiful),  situated  in  the 
barony  of  Coshma,  near  Kilmallock  (the  Baalbec  of 
Ireland).  They  were  expelled  by  the  Fitzgeralds, 
who  then  took  up  their  abode  in  Limerick.  The 
O'Donovans  settled  down  finally  in  the  mountainous 
district  of  Corca  Laidhe,  known  at  present  as  the 
parish  of  Drimoleague,  after  defeating  the  original 
proprietors  ;  to  their  newly-acquired  possessions  they 
transferred  the  tribe  name  of  the  family  Cairbre.    It 



Sketches  in  Carbery.  5 

was  also  called  ClancaHll,  and  the  former  name,  as 
O'Donovan  tells  us  in  "  The  Annals  of  the  Four 
Masters,"  by  a  strange  whim  of  custom  was  extended 
during  the  13th  century  to  the  entire  tract  of  country, 
known  at  present  as  the  Baronies  of  Carbery,  super- 
seding the  old  name  of  Cofca  Laidhe.  In  the  begin- 
ning of  the  13th  century  the  chief  Irish  septs 
inhabiting  Carbery  were  the  MacCartlrys,  O'Dris- 
colls,  O'Sullivans,  O'Donovans,  O'Mahonys,  O'Heas, 
O'Learys,  O'Cowhigs  (Coffey),  OFlynns,  O'Henni- 
gans,  &c. 

Smith  says  of  the  eight  families  of  royal  extraction 
of  this  period  in  the  county  of  Cork,  four  belonged 
to    Carbery,  viz.: — The   MacCarthys,    O'Mahonys, 
O'Driscolls,  and  O'Donovans.     A.  D.  1232  Cormac 
Grott,    third   son    of  M'Carthy   Mor,   invaded    and 
acquired  supreme  power  over  this  territory,  and  his 
descendants  established  a  sort  of  dynasty,  the  head 
of  the  family  Mac  Carthy  Eeagh  (swarthy)  was  styled 
Prince  of  Carbery,  his  chief  residence  being  Kilbrit- 
tain  Castle,  near  Timoleague,  the  original  seat  of  the 
De  Courceys,  Lords  of  Kinsale,  who  came  to  Ireland 
first  in  the  reign  of  Henry  II.     According  to  good 
authority  the  date  of  its  erection  was  1035,  which 
has  been  plainly  deciphered  on  the  walls  of  the  castle. 
A  strange  story  is  related  how  one  of  the  M'Carthy 
Reaghs  became  possessed  of  Kilbrittain.      One  of 
the   De  Courceys    borrowed   a   white    ferret   from 
M'Carthy,  and  allowed  the  latter  to  hold  the  castle 
pro  tern,  as  a  security  for  the  loan  of  the  ferret.    The 
animal  died  whilst  in  De  Courcey's  possession,  and 
Mac  Carthy,  according  to  stipulation,  became  Lord 
of  Kilbrittain  Manor.     Such  is  the   story  or  tra- 

In  the  beginning  of  the  17th  century  the  O'Dris- 



Sketches  in  Carbery. 

coll  territory  had  been  reduced  within  a  narrow  com- 
pass by  the  various  encroachments  of  surrounding 
foes.  It  constituted  a  territory  (a  rural  deanery) 
styled  Colleymore  and  Colleybeg,  including  the 
parishes  of  Myross,  Grlanbarahane  (now  Castlehaven), 
Tullagh,  Creagh,  Aghadoune  and  Cleere.  The 
names  Colleymore  and  Colleybeg  are  still' retained, 
being  two  townlands  on  the  banks  of  the  Hen,  near 
Innisbeg,  and  Eingarogue  islands.  In  1636,  accord- 
ing to  O'Donovan,  "the  entire  of  O'DriscolTs  County, 
as  well  as  these  of  O'Donovans,  and  O'Mahonys,  and 
several  septs  of  the  MacCarthys,  paid  tribute  to 
Mac  Carthy  Eeagh."  The  Barony  of  Carbery,  though 
at  present  reduced  in  size,  is  of  very  consider- 
able extent,  being  40  miles  in  length,  containing  46 
parishes,  comprising  360,933  acres,  equal  in  area  to 
some  Irish  counties. 

The  sea  coast,  as  I  have  already  remarked,  presents 
scenery  of  the  most  picturesque  character,  and  is 
intersected  in  a  remarkable  degree  by  numerous 
bays,  harbours,  and  narrow  winding  inlets  of  the 
sea.  They  form  beautiful  summer  resorts,  and  afford 
safe  shelter  to  shipping,  and  splendid  centres  for 
prosperous  fisheries,  which  latter  languish  at  present 
through  want  of  capital,  enterprise,  and  encourage- 
ment— without  which  they  Cannot,  of  course,  be 
developed.  What  strikes  the  eye  of  the  tourist, 
especially  when  travelling  through  the  west  of  the 
arony,  is  the  almost  endless  profusion  of  huge 
boulders  of  rook  cropping  up  out  of  the  soil,  or 
detached  and  distinct  from  the  bed  on  which  they 
lie.  In  some  places  they  overhang  the  rude  mountain 
pathway,  merely  poised  upon  the  pinnacle  of  some  pro- 
jecting mound,  and  seeming  to  threaten  immediate 
destruction  to  the  passer-by.     The  summits  and  sides 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  7 

of  many  are  covered  with  moss  and  lichens,  and  draped 
in  folds  of  holly  and  ivy ;  they  look  like 

"  Giants  of  old  turned  to  stone  by  some  magic  spell." 

There  is  a  very  large  one  of  these  detached  masses 
on  the  road  between  Glengarriff  and  Berehaven,  to 
which  some  fanciful  resemblance  to  a  judge  has  been 
made  out ;  it  has  a  grave  and  dignified  appearance, 
the  wig  is  represented  by  a  thick  covering  of  grey 
lichens,  the  body  being  draped  in  robes  of  ancient 
moss  and  red  berried  holly.  Near  the  Priest's  Leap 
is  another  with  a  cup-shaped  depression,  and  tra- 
dition affirms  that  this  cup  never  runs  dry,  contain- 
ing even  during  the  driest  season  some  water,  which 
is  supposed  to -well  up  continually  from  a  secret 
spring  within  the  rock. 

There  is  a  geological  legend  connected  with  the 
history  of  those  rocks,  for  geology  as  well  as  history 
can  dwell  in  the  region  of  romance.  Some  thousands 
of  years  ago,  as  geologists  tell  us,  in  the  antedi- 
luvian and  pre-historic  age  of  the  world,  a  number 
of  icebergs  from  the  frozen  deep  of  the  Arctic 
regions  went  on  an  excursion  to  more  southern  climes. 
As  companions  of  their  voyage  they  were  accom- 
panied by  large  massive  blocks  of  stone,  which  had 
been  safely  imbedded  within  their  crystal  walls. 
"Whilst  travelling  to  the  south  some  of  the  icebergs 
paid  a  visit  to  Carbery,  and  under  the  influence  of 
its  warm  and  genial  climate,  they  fell  into  a  melting 
mood,  and  gradually  dissolved  away,  allowing  their 
more  durable  and  solid  companions  to  be  quietly 
deposited  on  the  hills  and  valleys  of  the  Emerald 
Isle.  Here  they  secured  for  themselves  fixity  of 
tenure,  and  some  of  them  became  rooted  in  the  soil, 
taking  up  a  position  and  obtaining  a  holding  from 

8  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

which  they  cannot  he  easily  disturbed,  and  this  is 
the  origin  and  true  version,  according  to  literati,  of 
the  most  remarkable  of  the  "  Rupes  Carberiae." 

The  Baronies  of  Qarbery  occupy  a  very  large  area, 
about  600  square  miles,  with  a  population,  according 
to  the  census  of  1871,  of  88,241,  and  a  valuation  of 
houses  and  land  for  1874,  of  £146,389,  exceeding 
considerably  in  all  these  figures,  when  taken  con- 
jointly, any  other  barony  in  the  county  Cork.  They 
contain  forty-six  parishes,  and  the  land — though 
rough,  rocky,  marshy,  and  mountainous  to  some 
extent — is  fertile  and  arable  in  a  great  degree,  espe- 
cially the  east  barony. 

The  best  land  in  "West  Carbery  is  said  to  be  the 
parish  of  Myross,  called,  owing  to  its  fertility,  in  the 
Irish  language,  Garry  or  The  Garden.  The  patches 
between  the  rocks  and  hillocks,  when  properly  re- 
claimed, are  most  productive.  In  olden  times  the 
land  was  covered  with  extensive  forests,  which  have 
been  hewn  down  long  ago ;  and  the  country  is  now 
very  destitute  of  trees,  a  more  extensive  planting  of 
which  would  not  only  increase  the  picturesque  aspect 
of  the  scenery,  but  also  improve  the  climate,  and 
afford  more  shelter  and  protection  in  stormy  weather. 
Owing  to  the  nature  of  the  subsoil,  and  the  earth 
being  retentive  of  moisture,  a  very  complete  system 
of  drainage  is  necessary,  and  also  a  careful  process 
of  tillage,  ploughing  and  subsoiling  at  short  intervals, 
and  greater  attention  should  be  given  to  the  eradi- 
cation of  weeds.  The  soil  is  not  particularly  well 
adapted  for  being  laid  out  in  pasture  land,  as,  when 
allowed  to  remain  in  statu  quo  for  a  period  of  about 
five  years,  it  is  sure  to  revert  into  a  wild,  pristine 
state  of  nature,  and  present  a  most  uncultivated 
appearance — covered   and  overrun  with   furze   and 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  9 

ferns,  rushes  and  moss,  thereby  converting  into  a 
mere  useless  waste  what  might,  under  a  better  system 
of  agriculture,  be  fertile  and  useful  land.  Such  a 
condition  of  things  throughout  the  west  of  the  barony 
is  still,  in  some  instances,  familiar  to  the  eye  of  the 
most  careless  observer.  The  aspect  of  the  land  has, 
however,  improved  much  of  late  years,  and  numerous 
acres,  formerly  occupied  by  bogs  and  morasses,  have 
been  thoroughly  reclaimed  by  drainage,  &c.  A  com- 
plete reclamation  of  the  waste  lands  of  Carbery,  which 
supply  a  more  than  fair  proportion  to  the  grand  total 
for  Ireland,  would  add  materially  to  the  prosperity 
of  the  country,  but  cannot  possibly  be  accomplished 
for  many  years  to  come  by  private  capital  and  enter- 
prise unless  supplemented  by  state  aid. 

The  geological  formation  of  the  barony  is  slate, 
or  shale,  and  old  red  sandstone,  the  latter  predomi- 
nating along  the  coast.  There  is  a  complete  absence 
of  limestone,  necessitating  the  importation  of  lime 
from  the  north  of  the  county,  and  also  the  carriage 
of  the  rich  and  fertilising  sand  from  Bantry,  Clona- 
kilty,  &c,  into  the  interior.  This  sand  is  very  rich 
in  carbonate  of  lime,  and  is  indispensable  as  a  manure 
for  wet  and  boggy  land.  The  sea-coast  also  sup- 
plies in  abundance  the  sea-weed  which  is  so  exten- 
sively used  by  the  farmers  for  top-dressing  the  land, 
being  in  universal  request  for  the  potato  crops  near 
the  sea-shore. 

Although  "West  Carbery  has  more  rugged  features 
and  less  arable  land  than  the  last  barony — the 
scenery  is  more  diversified,  and  of  a  wilder  and  more 
romantic  character.  It  possesses  two  sources  of 
wealth,  which  we  might  truly  assert  are  in  a  stagnant 
and  semi-latent  condition — the  fisheries  along  the 
coast  and  the  mineral  wealth  buried  within  deep  re- 

10  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

cesses  of  mountains.     Mr.  Guy,  of  Cork,  in  his  re- 
cently printed  "Directory  for  the  City  and  County 
of  Cork,"  which  contains  a  great  deal  of  useful  infor- 
mation, enumerates  the  numerous  metallic  lodes  and 
veins  in  the  county,  the  majority  of  which  are  in 
Carbery,   viz. :    « (1)    Copper  in  Bantry,  Eossbrin, 
Ballydehob,  Dunmanway,  Skull,  Crookhaven  (with 
silver  bearing  lead).     The  Cappagh  Mine,  Ballyde- 
hob, was  first  opened  early  in  the  present  century  by 
Colonel  Hall,   a   Devonshire    gentleman.      Castle- 
townsend,    with   lead   and   antimony;    Boss,   with 
manganese  ;   Clonakilty,  with  lead  ;  (2)  Sulphate  of 
Barytes,    Skull,    Boscarbery,    Bantry,    Clonakilty; 
(3)  Lead,  Leap,  with  iron;  (4)  Iron  was  extensively 
worked  in  former  times  at  Aghadown  and  Boaring 
Water.     The  working  of  the  mines  was  suspended 
in  a  great  measure  owing  to  the  failure  of  the  supply 
of  wood,  requisite  for  the  smelting  of  the  ore.     (5) 
Manganese,  Boss,  Leap ;  (6)  Slates,  Carrigbuy,  Sher- 
km,  Drimoleague,   Curragalickey,  (Bandore,   Boss, 
Gaily  Head,  Clonakilty,  Timoleague."    The  quarry 
at  Benduff  is  worked  on  a  most  extensive  scale,  the 
slates  being,  in  the  opinion  of  many,  equal  to  those 
of  Bangor.  _   The  works  are  conducted  by  steam,  on 
the  most  scientific  principles,  under  the  management 
of  James  Swanton,  Esq.,  A.M.,  and  large  quantities 
are  exported  to  various  parts  of  the  United  Kingdom. 
Here  is  evidence  of  great  mineral  resources,  which 
only  require  additional  labour  and  investment  of  capi- 
tal in  order  to  extract  out  of  the  bowels  of  the  earth 
the  hidden  treasures  concealed  beneath  the  surface. 

The  climate  of  Carbery,  though  humid,  is  re- 
markably mild  and  equable,  no  great  alternations  of 
heat  and  cold.  The  temperature  in  the  winter  is  even 
2  deg.  higher  than  that  of  many  places  on  the  conti- 

'■'.'"■^Jl  '--I""- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  11 

nent,  ten  degrees  of  latitude  farther  south.  The  flora 
give  evidence  of  the  genial  nature  of  our  climate. 
The  laurustinum,  myrtle,  fuschia,  hydrangea,  &c., 
growing  and  thriving  in  the  open  air,  whilst  many 
rare  shrubs,  indigenous  to'  the  shores  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean and  the  tropical  regions  of  South  America, 
flourish  along  the  sea-coast  and  come  to  maturity  in 
the  open  air.  There  are  many  beautiful  inlets  of 
the  sea,  pleasant  places  of  retreat  in  summer  for 
invalids  or  pleasure  seekers ;  picturesque  localities, 
which  impress  visitors  much  with  the  beauty  of  our 
scenery,  and  the  mildness  and  salubrity  of  our 
climate,  as,  for  instance,  Rosscarbery,  Grlandore, 
Castletownshend,  Baltimore,  and  Skull.  Most 
desirable  localities  can  here  be  found  for  a  seaside 
residence,  possessing  more  natural  attractions,  and 
decidedly  more  sanitary  advantages,  than  many  of 
the  more  fashionable  marine  resorts  and  vaunted 
sanitoria  of  other  countries. 

Whereverwe  turn  we  enjoy  the  bracing  effects  of  the 
sea-breeze — balmy,  fresh,  and  pure  from  the  waters 
of  the  wide  Atlantic.  The  summer  months  are 
delightful,  the  climate  being  so  temperate  and  whole- 
some, and  during  the  winter  months,  though  many 
-  complain  of  the  great  rainfall,  scarcely  any  frost  or 
snow  occurs  to  produce  a  severity  of  season.  This 
climatic'  tendency  is  accounted  for  by  the  fact  that  a 
branch  of  the  great  gulf-stream  impinging  on  the 
south-west  coast  of  Ireland  tends,  by  its  benign  in- 
fluence, to  equalize  and  temper  the  climate  in  a  re- 
markable degree.  It  also  accounts,  more  or  less,  for 
the  moisture  of  the  atmosphere,  and  the  growth  in 
some  places  of  tropical  plants.  Places  so  remote, 
owing  to  the  want  of  proper  facility  of  access,  have 
been  more  or  less  cut  off  from  the  stirring  events 

12  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

which  agitate  the  busy  world  outside.  It  only  re- 
quires railway  communication,  which  will  be  soon 
established;  enterprise  in  the  building  of  rural  villas; 
careful  cultivation  and  judicious  planting  of  trees  in 
the  surrounding  country,  so  that  art  may  lend  her 
influence  to  add  an  additional  charm  to  the  beauties 
of  nature.  Then,  indeed,  the  places  alluded  to  will 
gain  a  widespread  and  well-deserved  reputation 
with  visitors  and  tourists,  and  Carbery  will  no  longer 
be  in  the  future,  as  it  has  been  in  the  past,  a  sort  of 
"  Terra  Incognita." 

The  name  of  Carbery  is  not  exclusively  confined 
to  Munster,  as  there  is  a  barony  of  the  same  name 
in  the  county  Kildare,  on  the  verge  of  the  Bog  of 
Allen,  and  another   Carbery,  an  extensive  barony 
divided  into  Upper  and  Lower,  in  the  county  Sligo, 
in  which  the  town  of  Sligo  is  situated.     However,  it 
is  to  the  Carbery  of  Cork,  by  far  the  most  important 
of  the  three,  that  I  must  direct  attention.    The  most 
ancient  town  or  village  in  Carbery  was,  undoubtedly, 
Baltimore  at  the  mouth  of  the  Hen.     It  was  the 
central  point  of  the  O'Driscoll  territory,  the  seat  of 
civil  power,  where  subsequently  an  important  town 
sprung  up,  near  the  walls  of  Dun-na-Sead  Castle.    Its 
early  origin  dates  back  from  time  immemorial,  and  at 
a  former  period  it  was  considered  the  nucleus  of  the 
fisheries  along  the  coast,  and  carried  on  an  extensive 
trade.     Rosscarbery  was  also  a  town  of  great  anti- 
quity, the  seat  of  ecclesiastical  authority,  and  a  place 
to  which,  as  Camden  says,   "  resorted  all  the  South 
"West  of  Ireland  for  learning's  sake,"  founded  in  the 
6th  century  by  St.  Fachtnan  ;  but  to  the  history  of 
Ross  I  will  refer  at  more  extended  length  on  a  future 

After  the  invasion  and  destruction  of  Baltimore 


Sketches  an  Carbery.  13 

by  the  Algerine  pirates,  A.D.  1631,  that  ancient 
town  fell  to  decay,  and  some  of  the  wealthiest  in- 
habitants, who  escaped  being  captured,  deserted  the 
locality,  and  settled  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Skib- 
bereen,  and  from  this  period,  viz.  the  middle  of  the 
17th  century,  we  must  date  the  enrolling  of  Skib- 
bereen  upon  the  list  of  notable  and  rising  towns  in 
the  south  of  the  county.  Previous  to  the  date  re- 
ferred to  Skibbereen  was  a  puny  village,  like  Eome 
in  its  infancy.  The  name  Skibbereen,  or  Skubbareen, 
is  of  doubtful  origin,  a  puzzle  to  philologists  and 
antiquarians,  and  still  sub  judice. 

Dr.  Joyce  seems  to  think  Skibbereen  meant  a 
place  of  skiffs,  which  used  to  ply  across  the  river  be- 
fore the  erection  of  the  bridges  at  the  Steam  Mill 
and  Abbey.  Skibbereen  and  the  adjacent  country 
were  formerly  a  portion  of  the  domain  surrounding 
Grortnaclohy  castle  (Castleisland)  and  belonged  to 
M'Carthy  Beagh,  of  Kilbrittain.  There  is  scarcely 
a  vestige  of  the  old  castle  remaining — the  site  of  the 
"baun,"  however,  and  traces  of;  the  foundations,  are 
still  visible.  In  the  time  of  Cromwell,  in  the  middle 
of  the  17th  century,  the  M'Carthy  estate  was  for- 
feited, and  Skibbereen  and  the  lands  of  Gortnaclohy, 
Smorane,  and  Coronea  were  granted  to  William 
Prigg  (an  appropriate  name)  and  Samuel  Hall,  who 
changed  the  name  of  Skibbereen  or  Skubbareen  to 
New  Stapletown;  this  latter  name  however  was  soon 
replaced  by  the  former  euphonious  appellation.  The 
eastern  and  greater  part  of  the  town  is  at  present 
situated  in  the  parish  of  Creagh,  being  the  Beecher 
property,  whilst  that  portion,  the  south  and  west, 
known  as  Bridgetown  and  Townshend-street,  belong 
to  the  Townshend  estate. 

In  the  year  1691  a  battle  took  place  in  the  vicinity 


14  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

of  the  town,  between  a  detachment  of  James  the 
Second's  forces  and  Colonel  Beecher,  who  received 
a  commission  under  William  the  Third.  Three  years 
afterwards  a  party  of  rapparees  entered  the  town, 
attacked  the  custom-house,  which  they  plundered, 
and  killed  the  two  revenue  officers.  Dr.  Dive 
Downes,  who  was  Protestant  bishop  of  Cork  during 
the  end  of  the  17th  and  beginning  of  the  18th  cen- 
tury, made  a  tour  of  his  diocese  on  horseback  ;  the 
roads  were  narrow,  and  impassable  for  carriages  in 
those  days.  He  visited  Skibbereen  in  1699,  and  left 
a  record  of  what  he  observed  there.  He  stopped  at 
Lady  Catherine  Barclay's  house,  Bridgetown.  The 
illustrious  Thackeray,  in  his  rambles  through  Ireland, 
paid  a  visit  to  Skibbereen.  In  his  work  entitled 
"  The  Irish  Sketch  Book,"  he  has  given  some  humor- 
ous and  interesting  sketches  of  the  town,  and  his 
visit  to  the  "Beecher  Arms"  Hotel.  Lewis,  who 
compiled  his  "  Topographical  Dictionary"  in  1837, 
mentions  how  Skibbereen  had  formerly  "  a  very  con- 
siderable trade  in  the  manufacture  of  woollen  cloth, 
linen  checks,  and  handkerchiefs,  which  has  altogether 
declined."  The  same  applies  to  most  of  the  towns 
in  Carbery.  The  appearance  of  King  Cotton  on  the 
stage  was  most  destructive  to  the  welfare  of  the  linen 
weavers,  whom  he  put  to  flight.  Of  late  years  there 
has  been  a  flax  revival,  the  growth  of  which  ought 
to  be  more  encouraged. 

The  population  of  Skibbereen  has  decreased  con- 
siderably within  the  last  thirty  years ;  it  was  previously 
nearly  5,000,  and  it  is  now  only  3,700,  a  decrease  to 
be  attributed  to  famine  and  emigration.  The  appear- 
ance of  the  town  has  improved  much  of  late  years, 
and  it  is  steadily  advancing  in  the  path  of  progress 
— extensive  gas-works,  water- works,  and  telegraphic 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  15 

communication  established ;  handsome  public  build- 
ings have  also  been  erected.  Being  a  busy  centre 
of  trade,  occupied  by  an  intelligent,  enterprising, 
and  industrious  population,  it  promises  to  advance 
in  prosperity.  A  very  extensive  trade  is  carried  out 
on  Saturdays,  and  very  large  quantities  of  butter 
and  other  provisions,  and  live  stock  are  exported 
continually.  "When  railway  communication  with 
Dunmanway,  Bandon,  and  Cork  has  been  completed 
— the  work  is  at  present  in  active  progress — Skibbe- 
reen  will  be  the  terminus  of  the  line,  and  ought  to 
advance  considerably  in  a  commercial  point  of  view, 
as  the  town  will  be  ipso  facto  the  metropolis  of  the 
"West  Riding,  and  very  probably  an  assize  town  also 

"Want  of  space  prevents  me  at  present  from  taking 
more  than  a  mere  cursory  glance  at  the  other  towns 
of  the  West  Biding,  a  full  description  of  which  is 
given  by  Lewis  and  Bennett,  and  also  in  the  Parlia- 
mentary Gazeteer,  by  Fullarton,  a  very  rare  work. 
Smith  also,  in  his  "  History  of  Cork,"  gives  a  detailed 
interesting  account  of  their  history,  and  other  im- 
portant features.     In  East  Carbery  the  chief  town 
is  Clonakilty,  the  derivation  of  the  word  is  considered 
to  be  the  stone  of  the  woods  (Clough-na-kilte),  from 
the  fact  of  the  country  around  being  formerly  exten- 
sively wooded,   and  some  remarkable  pillar  stones 
existing  near  the  town.     The  country  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Clonakilty  is  fertile  and  productive.    In 
1613 — in  the  time  of  James  I. — Sir  Richard  Boyle, 
first  Earl  of  Cork,  obtained  a  charter  of  incorporation 
for  the  town  about  the  same  time  that  Baltimore  was 
granted  a  sovereign,  free  burgesses  and  commonalty. 
In  1641,  1691,  and  1798,  engagements  and  skir- 
mishes took  place  at  Clonakilty,  between  Royalists 

16  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

Parliamentarians,  &c.  About  a  mile  to  the  north 
of  the  town  a  very  perfect  droidical  temple,  some  of 
the  stones  equalling  in  size  those  of  Stonehenge,  is 
to  be  seen — a  great  antiquarian  curiosity.  The  popu- 
lation, according  to  the  census  in  1871,  was  about 
3,600.  The  cotton  and  linen  manufactures  of  this 
town  formerly  were  most  extensive,  the  latter  afford- 
ing employment  to  400  looms,  and  1,000  persons, 
and  the  former  to  40  looms.  The  weekly  sales  some- 
times attained  to  the  large  sum  of  £1,000.  These 
manufactures,  it  is  much  to  be  regretted,  have  fallen 
to  decay.  There  is  a  considerable  export  from  Clona- 
kilty  in  the  corn  trade.  The  late  Dr.  Collins,  B.  O. 
Bishop  of  Cloyne  and  Boss,  a  man  of  distinguished 
talents,  was  born  in  Clonakilty.  Lewis  refers  to  this 
circumstance  in  his  work.  He  says:  "The  late 
Michael  Collins,  D.  D.,  B.  C.  Bishop  of  Cloyne  and 
Boss,  who  was  author  of  several  tracts  on  the  state 
of  Ireland,  and  was  examined  before  a  select  com- 
mittee of  the  House  of  Commons  in  1825,"  was  a 
native  of  this  place.  Dr.  Collins  subsequently  re- 
sided in  Skibbereen,  and  it  was  owing  to  his  active 
exertions  that  the  spacious  and  handsome  B.  C. 
Cathedral  and  the  National  Schools  were  erected. 

Dunmanway,  another  important  town  in  Carbery, 
has  many  interesting  associations  connected  with  it, 
formerly  the  seat  of  a  branch  of  the  M'Carthys,  who 
settled  down  in  the  valley  of  Grleanachroim,  where  they 
exercised  a  semi-regal  sway,  and  built  for  themselves 
famed  Togher  ?nd  Dunmanway  Castles,  which  latter 
means  the  fort  with  the  yellow  gables  or  pinnacles. 
Dunmanway  owed  its  rise  to  importance  as  a  manu- 
facturing centre,  chiefly  linen,  to  the  exertions  of  Sir 
Bichard  Cox,  who  was  Lord  Chancellor  of  Ireland 
in  the  time  of  William  III.     He  was  Lord  of  the 

Sketches  in  Carter y.  17 

manor,  and  erected  a  handsome  mansion  for  himself 
near  the  town.  He  was  drowned  accidentally  in  a 
small  lake  near  Dunmanway. 

I  would  fain  linger  at  more  length,  and  dwell  on 
details  of  interest  about  Clonakilty,  Dunmanway, 
Skull,  with  its  wild  and  charming  scenery;  Crook- 
haven,  that  famous  port  of  call  for  distressed  merchant 
ships,  and  the  other  rising  towns  and  picturesque 
villages  in  Carbery.  However,  it  would  be  impos- 
sible to  bring  all  their  striking  features  before  the 
public  in  a  proper  light  within  such  a  limited  space, 
and  I  must,  therefore,  unwillingly,  for  the  present, 
commit  them  to  a  temporary  and  unmerited  silence 
and  oblivion. 

Of  ecclesiastical  ruins  and  castles,  Carbery  possesses 
an  ample  store.  The  most  remarkable  and  handsome 
of  the  Abbeys  was  that  of  Timoleague,  called  after 
St.  Molaga,  Tigh-ATolaga  (house  of  Molaga.)  It  was 
built  in  A.D.  1320,  by  Donald  M'Carthy  Eeagh, 
Prince  of  Carbery.  In  1400  the  Franciscan  monks 
occupied  it.  In  the  reign  of  Henry  VII.  Edmund 
De  Courcey,  (brother  to  Lord  Einsale),  who  had 
been  a  Franciscan,  and  was  subsequently  Bishop  of 
Eoss  (1494)  re-edified  the  Abbey,  built  the  beautiful 
Gothic  tower,  which  still  preserves  its  graceful  pro- 
portions, and  also  some  of  the  dormitories,  infirmary, 
and  library.  He  died  in  1518,  and  was  buried  in  a  small 
mortuary  chapel  in  one  of  the  transepts  of  the  Abbey. 
Timoleague  Abbey  was  the  final  resting  place  of  the 
M'Cartbys,  Barrys,  De  Courceys,  ODonovaus,  and 
O'Heas.  The  most  ancient  Abbey  in  Carbery  was  the 
one  called  Abbey  deSanctoMauro  atCarrigillihyinthe 
parish  of  Myross,  built  in  1170  by  Dermot  M'Carthy, 
king  of  Cork ;  it  was  of  the  Cistercian  Order,  and 
richly  endowed ;  all  traces  of  the  building  have  dis- 


1$  Sketches  in  Carter//. 

appeared.  Abbeystrowry,  near  Skibbereen,  was  a 
sub-branch  of  this  institution.  Sberkin  Abbey,  built 
after  the  model  of  Kilcrea,  belonged  to  the  Francis- 
can order;  it  was  erected  in  1460  by  the  O'Driscolls, 
and  is  still  in  tolerably  good  preservation.  The 
architecture,  both  as  regards  strength  and  beauty  of 
design,  still  gives  evidence  of  a  high  perfection  in 
that  art,  at  the  period  in  which  these  buildings 
flourished.  Their  occupants  were  men  of  refined 
culture,  and  studious,  peaceful,  and  gentle  habits, 
who  rescued  from  destruction  the  lamp  of  learning, 
and  exercised  a  civilizing  and  benign  influence  over 
the  rude  manners  and  fierce  passions  of  the  dark  and 
feudal  ages. 

Everywhere  we  perceive  relics  of  the  olden  times 
— the  raths,  tumuli,  cromlechs,  and  pillar-stones, 
the  works  of  a  pagan  age.  Whilst  guarding  the 
mountain  passes,  like  grim  sentinels  on  the  watch, 
or  in  the  centre  of  secluded  valleys,  or,  perhaps, 
perched  upon  the  pinnacle  of  some  rocky  peninsula 
which  projects  into  the  sea,  and  whose  beetling  cliffs 
frown  upon  the  raging  surf  beneath,  we  observe  the  im- 
posing castles,  feudal  fortresses  of  former  days.  There 
they  stand  erect,  as  monuments  of  the  past — land- 
marks of  history,  "foot-prints  in  the  sands  of  time" — 

"  Still  braving  the  tempest's  shock, 

Like  Corinack's  fane  o'er  the  golden  plain, 
Crowning  the  crested  rock." 

As  we  wander  round  these  interesting  relics  of  the 
olden  time,  a  flood  of  ideas  rushes  on  the  mind,  asso- 
ciations of  the  past  are  re- called.  In  the  words  of  a 
distinguished  poet,  a  native  of  Cork,  J.  J.  Callanan, 
who  died  in  Lisbon,  1829,  I  may  add — 

"  We  glean  the  grey  legend,  that  long  had  been  sleeping, 
Where  the  mist  and  the  rain  o'er  its  beauty  was  creeping." 

Sketches  in  Carbenj.  19 

From  out  the  castles'  massive  portals,  some  centuries 
ago,  oft  issued  the  warlike  and  chivalrous  chieftain 
at  the  head  of  his  gallowglasses  and  kernes,  with 
their  saffron  robes  and  bright  battle-axes,  armed  for 
a  foray  on  some  obnoxious  neighbour,  or  to  wage 
unequal  war  with  the  trained  and  disciplined  troops 
of  the  Anglo-Norman  invaders,  who  were  shielded 
in  armour  cap-a-pie,  and  mounted  on  high-mettled 
steeds.  "Within  the  walls,  where  now  solitude  reigns 
supreme,  and  the  ivy  clambers  around  the  deserted 
chambers  undisturbed,  the  only  sound  that  breaks 
upon  the  air  is  the  beating  of  the  waves  upon  the 
rock-bound  coast,  or  the  scream  of  the  wild  bird  dis- 
turbed from  its  repose.  What  a  change  from  the 
time  when  the  warrior  knights  and  leaders  of  the  clan, 
around  the  gay  and  festive  board,  recorded  their 
brave  and  warlike  deeds,  their  hair-breadth  'scapes 
through  flood  and  field,  the  Scanachie  recited  the 
legends  and  family  traditions  of  the  olden  time,  and 
the  poetic  minstrel  tuned  his  harp,  and  poured  forth 
his  soul  in  song:  " Tempora  mutantur  nos  et  mutamur 
in  illis."  However,  it  would  be  well  if  those  who 
venerate  the  past,  and  have  some  regard  for  the  pic- 
turesque, beautiful,  and  sublime,  would  endeavour 
if  they  have  the  power,  to  rescue  from  destruction, 
though  they 'might  not  restore,  to  prevent  from 
crumbling  into  the  soil  on  which  they  rest,  these 
ancient  ornaments  of  the  Emerald  Isle — 

"  Before  decay's  effacing  fingers 
Have  swept  the  lines  where  beauty  lingers." 



20  Sketches  in  Carbery. 


Baltimore,  derivation  of  name,  antiquity — Expedition  against  this 
place  in  1537  by  Waterford — Charter  of  incorporation  in  1613 
from  James  I. — Colon>sed  by  Sir  Thomas  Crook — Celebrated 
Algerine  invasion  of  Baltimore,  20th  June,  1631 — Eeturned  two 
M.P.s  from  A.  D.  1613  to  1800,  when  it  was  disfranchised — List 
of  M.P.s — Lord  Baltimore,  colonizer  of  Maryland,  derived  his 
title  from  the  place — Migration  of  the  O'Driscolls  to  Spain,  the 
original  country  of  their  ancestors — Battle  of  Rath. 

The  first  place  I  intend  describing  is  Baltimore, 
anciently  called  Dunashad  (the  fortress  of  the  jewels), 
which  is  a  place  of  great  interest,  when  we  take  into 
account -its  antiquity  and  former  importance.  It  was 
called  Baltimore  from  the  words  Baile-an-Ti-Mor, 
which  signify  in  the  Irish  language  "  The  town  of  the 
Great  House."  It  was  in  olden  times  a  celebrated 
sanctuary  of  the  Druids,  who  carried  on  their  idola- 
trous worship  of  the  pagan  god,  Baal,  in  this  place. 
Not  far  from  the  present  village  are  the  remains  of 
a  Druidical  •  altar  or  Cromlech,  evidently  of  great 
antiquity,  where  the  Druids  were  wont  to  celebrate 
the  mysterious  rites  of  their  religion,  and  often  sought 
to  propitiate  the  favour  of  the  bloodthirsty  Baal  by 
the  immolation  of  victims  to  this  ideal  monster. 
A  Druidical  circle  can  be  also  observed  in  the  same 

As  far  back  as  the  beginning  of  the  16th  century, 
Baltimore  was  a  town  of  considerable  importance,  and 
a  great  resort  for  fishermen  from  the  coasts  of  France 
and  Spain.  In  1537  the  merchants  of  "Waterford  fitted 

Sketches  in  Carhery.  21 

out  an  armed  expedition  against  this  place.  Some 
ships,  laden  with  wine  from  Portugal  and  consigned  to 
Waterford,  were  driven  ashore  in  a  tempest  on  the 
neighbouring  coast.  These  ships  were  plundered  by 
Fineen  O'Driscoll  and  his  sons,  who  were  the  chief- 
tains of  Baltimore  at  the  time.  When  intelligence 
of  this  outrage  reached  Waterford,  great  indignation 
prevailed,  and  the  mayor  of  that  city  immediately 
sent  a  force  of  300  men  under  the  command  of  a 
Captain  Woodlock  to  resent  the  injury.  They  landed 
in  Sherkin,  ravaged  the  island,  destroyed  the  villages 
and  a  Franciscan  friary  which  had  been  established 
there,  and  also  besieged  a  fortress  called  the  Castle 
of  Dun  along,  which  they  took  by  storm.  They 
burnt  all  the  galleys  and  pinnaces  belonging  to 
O'Driscoll,  set  fire  to  Baltimore,  and  attacked  the 
ancient  Castle  of  Dunashad,  the  ruins  of  which  may 
be  observed  at  the  present  day,  commanding  a  fine 
view  of  the  harbour. 

Smith  in  his  "  History  of  Cork"  describes  a  curious 
incident  connected  with  the  attack  on  this  old  castle. 
"  A  William  Grant,  one  of  the  seamen,  was  on  the 
top  of  the  castle,  which,  being  all  on  fire  under  him, 
he  stood  upon  a  pinnacle  and  cried  out  for  assistance. 
One  Butler  tied  a  small  cord  to  an  arrow,  and  shot 
it  up  to  Grant,  by  means  of  which  cord  he  drew  up 
a  rope,  which  he  fastened  to  the  pinnacle,  and  slid 
down  safe  to  his  companions,  after  which  the  army 
arrived  safe  in  Waterford." 

•  Baltimore  soon  again  regained  its  former  pros- 
perity, and  the  next  important  news  we  learn  is  that 
it  received  a  Charter  of  Incorporation  as  a  borough 
from  James  I.,  March  25th,  1613,  the  government 
being  vested  in  a  sovereign,  twelve  burgesses,  and  a 
commonalty  and  was  represented  in  Parliament  by 

22  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

two  members.  An  English  colony  had  been  planted 
here  a  short  time  previously  by  Sir  Thomas  Crook, 
prior  to  -which  event  the  town  of  Baltimore  and  the 
adjacent  country  had  been  a  great  stronghold  of  the 
O'Driscolls,  who  also  possessed  the  islands  of  Sherkin 
and  Cape  Clear,-  of  which  latter  place  they  were 
styled  kings.  The  O'Driscolls  forfeited  all  their 
possessions,  both  on  the  mainland  and  in  the  islands, 
during  the  insurrection  of  1601,  when  the  Spaniards 
landed  in  Baltimore.  The  Spaniards  surrendered  to 
Captain  Harvey,  who  was  in  command  of  the  English 
forces.  Most  of  the  O'Driscolls  emigrated  to  Spain, 
leaving  behind  them  their  followers  and  dependents, 
who  gradually  became  mixed  up  with  the  rest  of  the 

Baltimore  was  not  destined  to  remain  for  any 
length  of  time  in  a  state  of  repose.  Sir  "Walter  Cop- 
pinger  reduced  the  place  to  great  distress  in  1629, 
and  took  possession  of  the  town  and  castle ;  but  the 
greatest  calamity  which  had  yet  occurred  befel  this  ill- 
fated  locality  on  the  20th  June,  1631,  when  two 
Algerine  galleys,  manned  with  pirates,  landed  in  the 
dead  of  night,  plundered  the  town,  massacred  the 
greater  portion  of  She  inhabitants,  and  took  the  re- 
mainder into  a  captivity  almost  worse  than  death. 
Of  those  captured  (200  in  number)  most  were  English 
settlers.  The  Algerines  were  piloted  into  Baltimore 
by  a  man  named  Hackett,  a  Dungarvan  fisherman, 
who,  about  two  years  after  this  occurrence,  was  taken 
prisoner,  carried  to  Baltimore,  and  hung  on  a  high 
cliff,  facing  the  sea,  and  looking  down  on  tbe  very 
channel  through  which  the  miscreant  had  but  a  short 
time  before  so  treacherously  and  cruelly  conducted 
the  galleys  of  the  bloodthirsty  and  marauding 


Sketches  in  Carbenj.  23 

The  description  of  this  eventful  narrative  would 
be  incomplete  without  referring  to  the  poem  of 
Thomas  Davis  on  the  "Sack  of  Baltimore,"  which  tells 
in  more  thrilling  and  graphic  accents  of  the  terrible 
descent  of  these  fierce  Algerines  than  could  be  com- 
passed by  the  tamer  recital  of  prose  : — 

"  The  summer's  sun  is  falling  soft  on  Carb'ry's  hundred  isles — 
The  summer's  sun  is  gleaming  still  through  Gabriel's  rough 

defiles — 
Old  Innisherkin's  crumbled  fane  looks  like  a  moulting  bird  ; 
And  in  a  calm  and  sleepy  swell  the  ocean  tide  is  heard : 
The  hookers  lie  upon  the  beach ;  the  children  cease  their  play ; 
The  gossips  leave  the  little  inn ;  the  households  kneel  to  pray : — 
And  full  of  love,  and  peace,  and  rest — its  daily  labour  o'er — 
Upon  that  cosy  creek  there  lay  the  town  of  Baltimore,"  &c. 

"We  refer  the  reader  for  the  remainder  to  the 
poems  of  the  author. 

Baltimore  never  recovered  from  the  shock  of  the 
Algerine  invasion — its  energies  became  paralysed, 
its  wealth  and  prosperity  vanished,  and  it  gradually 
dwindled  down  into  an  insignificant  village.  It 
however  continued  to  send  two  members  to  Parlia- 
ment until  the  year  1800,  when  it  was  disfranchised, 
and  the  sum  of  £15,000  a\tfarded  by  Government  to 
Sir  John  Evans  Freke,  Bart.,  by  way  of  compensa- 
tion, for  the  abolition  of  its  franchise.  This  final 
blow  completely  ruined  Baltimore,  and  deprived  it 
of  all  chances  of  attaining  to  anything  like  its  former 
position.  Anyone  visiting  the  Baltimore  of  the  present 
day,  and  contrasting  its  quiet,  unpretending,  and 
unbusiness-like  appearance  with  what  it  must  have 
been  in  the  16th  century,  if  we  are  to  believe  his- 
torians— viz.  a  thriving  and  opulent  town,  carrying 
on  an  extensive  trade  by  means  of  its  fisheries  with 
the  coasts  of  France  and  Spain,  and  the  seaports 
along  the  neighbouring  coast — will  have  his  ideas 

24  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

carried  back  immediately  to  those  troubled  and  law- 
less days  when  bloodshed  and  strife  were  almost 
daily  occurrences,  and  when  the  ancient  chieftains 
and  the  English  settlers  decided  their  differences  by 
appeals  to  arms.  When  he  ascends  the  rocky  emi- 
nence within  the  village,  on  which  stand  the  ruined 
walls  and  battlements  of  the  ancient  castle  of  Duna- 
shad,  which  was  the  chief  stronghold  of  the  O'Dris- 
colls,  and  looks  out  upon  the  picturesque  harbour, 
with  Sherkin,  Cape  Clear,  and  the  numerous  islands 
fading  away  in  the  distance,  what  a  crowd  of  ideas 
rushes  on  his  memory  when  he  recalls  the  sanguinary 
scenes  of  strife  and  contention  which  were  enacted 
almost  beneath  his  feet.  He  pictures  to  himself  the 
feelings  of  dismay  and  horror  that  must  have  filled 
the  minds  of  its  inhabitants  when  the  fierce  and 
warlike  Algerines  carried  fire  and  sword  into  its 
ancient  halls,  and  fancies  with  what  sorrowful  and 
heavy  hearts  the  old  proprietors  and  chieftains  of 
the  soil  must  have  turned  their  longing  eyes  to*  take 
a  last  glance  at  the  seats  of  their  ancestors  before 
their  final  departure,  in  exile,  for  the  coasts  of 
Spain.  t- 

After  the  reduction  of  Dunboy  Castle,  by  Sir 
George  Carew,  Lord  President  of  Munster,  in  1602, 
we  find  that  during  his  return  to  Cork,  several  other 
fortresses  of  inferior  note  throughout  the  country 
were  stormed  and  captured  by  his  victorious  army — 
amongst  others,  that  of  Clogan,  near  Baltimore. 
The  following  particulars  regarding  its  capture  are 
recorded  in  the  "Paccita  Hibernia,"  a  work  written  by 
Sir  George  Carew  himself: — "Sir  Charles  Wilmot 
took  Macrocm  Castle  in  September,  1602,  and  about 
the  same  time  that  of  Clogan,  near  Baltimore,  was 
summoned  by  Captain  Flower,  who  had  in  his  posses- 


Sketches  in  Carbcry.  25 

sion  Mac  Donough  Durrow,  brother  of  the  Governor, 
and  sent  him  word  he  would  hang  him,  if  he  (the 
Governor)  did  not  surrender  immediately,  but  there 
being  in  the  castle  a  priest  lately  come  from  B.ome, 
whom  the  Governor  would  not  give  up,  he  suffered 
his  brother  to  be  hanged.  Nevertheless,  having  found 
means  to  procure  the  priest's  escape,  he  sued  for  a 
protection  four  days  after,  which  being  granted  he 
gave  up  the  castle." 

Before  finishing  my  remarks  on  Baltimore,  I  must 
refer  to  one  of  the  only  incidents  of  any  importance 
connected  with  the  modern  history  of  the  place — 
viz.  the  Bath  Biots,  or,  as  they  are  sometimes  mag- 
niloquently  styled,  "  The  Battle  of  Bath,"  which  is 
familiar  to  the  memories  of  many  of  my  readers. 
When  the  poor  laws  were  first  established,  about 
thirty  years  ago,  a  spirit  of  great  dissatisfaction  was 
evinced  by  the  farming  and  labouring  classes  of  this 
locality,  and  a  determined  opposition  organized  to 
resist  the  collection  of  the  ra^es.  A  large  force  of 
police,  under  the  command  of  a  Mr.  Gore  Jones, 
stipendiary  magistrate,  and  a  Mr.  Bichard  Brew, 
sub-inspector,  was  sent  to  protect  the  rate  collector. 
An  attempt  was  made  to  distrain  a  few  head  of  cattle 
from  some  of  the  resisting  parties  near  Bath  chapel ; 
opposition  was  offered  on  the  part  of  the  people,  a 
collision  took  place,  the  police  fired,  and  two  men 
were  killed  and  two  severely  wounded.  After  this 
unfortunate  occurrence,  all  opposition  to  the  poor 
laws  ceased,  and  the  poor  rates  have  ever  since  been 
collected  without  any  show  of  resistance. 

Appended  is  a  list  of  some  of  the  most  promi- 
nent M.  B.s,  who  represented  Baltimore  from  the 
seventeenth  century  to  the  beginning  of  the  nine- 
teenth ;  — 

26  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

1613.  April  20th,  Sir  Thomas  Crook,  Bart.,  Bal- 
timore.    Henry  Pierce,  Esq.,  Dublin  (James  I.) 

1661.  Richard  Townsend,  Esq.,  Castletown- 

1692.  Colonel  Thomas  Beecher,  sen.,  of  Sherkey, 
Edward  Richardson,  gent.,  Moerestown. 

1703.  Pierce  Freke,  Esq.,  Eathharry  (pre- 
sent Castle  Freke).  Thomas  Beecher,  Esq.,  Sher- 

1713.  Hon.  Richard  Barry.  Michael  Beecher, 

1721.  Sir  Percy  Freke,  Bart.,  Castle  Freke. 
Richard  Tonson,  Esq.,  Dunkettle. 

1768.  Sir  John  Freke,  Bart.  Richard  Tonson, 
Esq.,  Baltimore. 

1778.  William  Evans,  Esq. 

1783.  Lord  Sudley.     Richard  Longfield,  Esq. 

1797.   George  Evans,  Esq. 

In  1703  Edmund  &alway,  Esq.  forfeited  Balti- 
more, which  had  been  for  some  time  previously  his 
property,  for  his  adherence  to  Xing  James  II.  It 
was  purchased  soon  after  at  the- sale  of  the  confis- 
cated estates  (temp.  Queen  Anne)  by  Percy  Freke, 
Esq.,  of  Rathbarry,  ancestor  of  the  present  Lord 
Carbery,  for  £1,809,  the  title  of  whose  family  to  the 
peerage  dates  back  to  1815. 

The  ancient  title  of  Lord  Baltimore,  time  of  Jamesl., 
was  conferred  on  George  Calvert,  a  native  of  York- 
shire, but  of  Flemish  extraction  ;  he  was  Secretary 
of  State,  but  in  1624  was  compelled  to  resign,  having 
become  a  Roman  Catholic.  His  second  son,  Cecil, 
obtained  a  grant  from  Charles  I.,  1632,  of  a  large 
tract  of  country  in  America,  known  at  present  as  the 
State  of  Maryland  (called  after  Henrietta  Maria, 
Queen  of  Charles  I.). 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  27 

This  state  he  colonized  with  a  number  of  respect- 
able families,  chiefly  from  Ireland.  The  capital  of 
the  State,  Baltimore,  at  present  one  of  the  finest 
cities  in  the  United  States  (pop.  170,000),  was  called 
after  the  place  of  the  same  name  in  Ireland.  The 
title,  Lord  Baltimore,  has  been  extinct  for  some 

28  Sketches  in  Carbevy. 


A  trip  down  the  Hen  river — Scenery  along  the  banks — Relics  and 
ruins  of  the  past — Abbey  de  Sancto  Mauro,  founded  1172 — Abbey - 
strowry — View  of  the  adjoining  country — Imhsbbeg  island  in  the 
river,  where  Book  of  Dues  was  presented  to  St.  Fachtnan,  first 
Bishop  of  Eosscarbery,  by  the  chieftain  of  Corca  Laidbe — Ringa 
Roga  island,  and  castle — Innisherkin  (Inis  Arcain),  its  Fran- 
ciscan Abbey  (A.  D.  1460),  subterranean  chambers — General  des- 
cription of  these  curiosities  of  the  Pagan  age. 

"  The  summer's  sun  is  falling  soft  on  Carbery's  hundred  isles." 


If  one  illustrious  bard  has  immortalized  in  song 
"  The  Isles  of  Greece,"  "  where  Phcebus  rose  and  Delos 
sprung ; "  another,  whose  name  is  also  familiar,  has 
brought  into  notice  and  raised  to  fame  the  Hundred 
Isles  of  Carbery,  which,  if  they  fail  to  outrival  the 
Grecian  Archipelago,  still  present  points  of  attrac- 
tion and  interest  to  engage  the  attention  and  call 
forth  the  ability  of  the  poet  and  artist.  The  great 
Dean  of  St.  Patrick's,  who  lived  for  a  year  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Glandore,  has  left  us  a  Latin  poem, 
which  he  esteemed  beyond  all  his  writings,  entitled 
"  Carberite  Eupes,"  in  which  he  briefly,  with  much 
graphic  force,  describes  some  of  the  striking  features 
of  the  coast  scenery  between  Baltimore  and  Glandore, 
so  deeply  impressed  and  delighted  was  he  with 
what  he  saw  during  his  numerous  excursions  along 
the  coast.  Certainly  when  writers  and  observers, 
whose  names  are  chronicled  in  history,  have  selected 
for  their  themes  "  The  Sack  of  Baltimore,"  and  the 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  29 

picturesque,  if  comparatively  barren,  rocks  of  Car- 
bery, it  proves  beyond  a  doubt  that  there  is  some- 
thing attractive  and  pleasing,  after  all,  to  be 
discovered  amongst  the  western  wilds,  and  that  the 
nearest  parish  to  America  is  worthy  of  more  than  a 
passing  notice,  either  in  poetry  or  prose.  It  is  my 
intention  to  give  a  detailed  account  of  only  the  two 
most  important  islands — viz.  Sherkin  and  Cape  Clear, 
referring  briefly  to  the  others  which  are  comparatively 
of  diminutive  size. 

A  trip  down  the  river  Hen,  as  it  pursues  its  wind- 
ing and  picturesque  course  from  Mount  Owen  (the 
hill  of  streams)  to  the  harbour  of  Baltimore,  a  dis- 
tance of  about  fifteen  miles,  is  a  most  pleasant  and 
interesting  excursion  during  the  summer  months. 
Starting  from  Skibbereen,  we  can  either  steam  or 
row,  according  to  our  pleasure,  or  rather  as  the  tide 
suits,  to  Baltimore  and  Sherkin,  a  distance  of 
eight  or  nine  miles,  and  then  cut  the  harbour's 
mouth,  and  cruise  about  the  group  of  islands  I  have 
selected  as  the  subject  of  the  present  sketch. 

Let  us  now,  en  passant,  gaze  on  either  side,  and 
examine  minutely  any  relics  or  ruins  of  the  past, 
which  may  possess  either  local  interest,  or  whose 
former  history,  however  microscopic,  may  have  handed 
down  some  fact  worthy  of  record.  Not  far  from  the 
metropolis  of  West  Carbery  we  pass  by  the  ruins  of 
Abbeystrowry  Church  (the  abbey  of  the  stream ).  The 
fragmentary  remains  are  by  no  means  imposing ; 
however,  the  gray  crumbling  walls,  covered  with 
moss  and  lichens,  and  the  overhanging,  leafless  trees, 
tottering  to  their  fall,  proclaim  a  venerable  antiquity. 
Here,  during  the  12th  century,  on  the  site  of  the 
present  ruin,  flourished  a  branch  of  the  celebrated 
Cistercian  Abbey,  founded  at  Corrigillihy,  in  the 


30  Sketches  in  Cavbenj. 

parish  of  Myross,  A.  D.  1172,  by  Dermot  M'Cormac 
McCarthy,  who  was  king  of  Cork  at  that  period; 
hence  the  parish  derives  its  name.  Smith,  in  his 
"History  of  Cork,"  writing  about  a  hundredy  ears  ago, 
states  that  in  his  time,  although  even  then  the  traces 
above  ground  of  both  Abbeys  had  disappeared, 
"  upon  digging  beneath  the  soil,  the  foundations  of 
the  Abbey  de  Sancto  Mauro,  or  the  Fonte  Yivo,  at 
Myross,  and  also  a  large  cemetery  with  quantities 
of  human  bones  were  discovered."  A  visit  was  made 
to  Abbeystrowry  during  the  famine  years  by  the 
celebrated  John  Bright,  to  which  he  refers  in  one 
of  his  speeches  at  Dublin,  in  the  year  1866 ;  and 
he  describes,  with  emotion,  how  he  stood  on  that 
ground,  where  countless  numbers  lay  buried  around 
him,  the  victims  of  that  fearful  famine,  which  swept 
like  a  desolating  hurricane  over  the  country. 

We  must  leave,  however,  these  melancholy  tra- 
ditions of  the  past  behind  us,  "  familiar  in  our  mouths 
as  household  words,"  and  pursue  our  voyage  onwards, 
noting  each  matter  of  interest  as  we  pass  along. 
Occasionally  we  catch  a  glimpse,  at  New  Court  and 
Creagh,  of  bright  patches  of  green  verdure,  which 
show  a  proof  of  careful  cultivation,  and  rich  verdant 
spots,  in  the  hollows  of  the  rocks  here  and  there, 
which  contrast  favourably  with  the  brown,  heathy 
moorland,  the  dingy-looking  bogs,  and  the  unre- 
claimed margins,  where  furze  and  rushes,  weeds 
and  stagnant  water  assert  their  unproductive  sway. 
It  realizes  at  once,  to  the  inquisitive  gaze,  the  right- 
ful title  to  the  term  "  Emerald  Isle,"  which  Ireland 
claims  as  specially  her  own,  and  also  clearly  and 
conclusively  proves  how  completely  the  reclamation 
of  the  waste  land  by  draining,  &c,  can  metamorphose 
rocks  and  bogs,  and  acres,  covered  with  moss  and 

Sketches  in  Carhery.  31 

rushes,  and  sedgy  pools,  into  smiling  pasture  and  corn 
lands,  and  countless  ridges  of  luxuriant  green  crops. 
"We  must  only  hope  the  exodus  from  the  old  country 
■will  not  deprive  us  heyond  measure  of  the  stalwart 
arms  so  necessary  to  turn  up  the  soil  and  prevent 
the  land  from  degenerating  into  a  -wilderness. 

The  view  down  the  river  from  near  Creagh,  on 
a  fine  day,  is  quite  attractive.     The  lien,  winding 
in  a  serpentine  course  towards  Baltimore  harbour, 
shining  and  sparkling  in  the  sunlight  like  a  silver 
thread,  and  dotted  over  with  a  multitude  of  rocky 
islets,  whose  recesses  form  a  safe  retreat  and  favorite 
feeding  ground  for  flocks  of  sea  fowl  during   the 
winter  months.     Looking  backwards,  the  country 
presents  no  very  striking  features  to  engage  our  atten- 
tion.    We  are  chiefly  struck  by  the  almost  complete 
absence  of  wood,  and  the  sombre-looking  patchwork 
of  irregular  fields,  enclosed  by  earthen  banks,  and 
the  prominent  position   wherever  we   turn   of  the 
"Carberise  Eupes,"    so  much  admired  by  tourists 
and   strangers,    most  probably  on   account  of  the 
novelty   and_  singularity   of    the    scene.      Farther 
inland,  the  view  is  intercepted  by  the  dark  chains 
of  hills,  which   stretch  along  in   a   south-westerly 
direction,    from    the    neighbourhood    of   Dunman- 
way  and  Drimoleague  towards  the  bays  of  Dunmanus 
and  Bantry.     From  one  of  these  hills  near  Drimo- 
league, where  "rain  clouds  perpetually  hover  about," 
named   Knuck  Owen   (the  hill   of  streams),  three 
rivers   derive  their  source — the  Bandon  river,  the 
Hen,  and  the  Bantry  river  (the  Meallagh).     Par 
away,  towards  the  west,  we  descry  the  mountains 
culminating  to  their  highest  points  in  Gabriel,  the 
Sugar  Loaf,   and  Hungry  Hill  (2,251  feet  high), 
from  which  latter  descends  in  the  winter  months  a 


32  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

cataract  unsurpassed  in  height  by  any  in  either  Great 
Britain  or  Ireland. 

The  first  island  worthy  of  notice  is  Inishbeg ;  here 
the  river  separates  into  two  distinct  channels — the 
western  one  being  navigable  for  vessels  about  250 
tons  as  far  as  Old  Court.  One  memorable  circum- 
stance connected  with  this  little  island  is  the  follow- 
ing, mentioned  in  "  The  Genealogy  of  Corca  Laidhe." 
At  Ard-na-bPartan,  in  Inisbeg— i.  e.,  Crab  Fish 
Hill,  on  the  Little  Island,  Conall,  chieftain  of  Corca 
Laidhe  (the  ancient  name  of  Carbery),  presented 
the  Book  of  Dues,  about  the  latter  end  of  the  6th 
century,  to  St.  Fachtnan,  the  first  Bishop  of  Eoss- 
carbery.  On  each  bank  of  the  river  is  a  small 
townland,  called  in  the  Ordnance  Map  Collatrum 
Beg  and  More :  the  ancient  name  is  still  the 
one  used  by  the  peasantry  of  Carbery.  We 
will  refer  to  this  subject  again,  as  we  proceed 
further.  Separated  by  a  narrow  channel  from  Inish- 
beg, and  occupying  a  position  between  the  two  river 
channels,  is  the  next  island,  Einga  Eoga  or  Donegal, 
as  it  is  styled  in  the  charts.  The  latter  name  is  de- 
rived from  the  words  Dun-na-n  Gall,  which  means  the 
castle  or  stronghold  of  the  foreigners^  The  same  deri- 
vation applies  to  the  county  of  Donegal,  the  ancient 
name  of  which  was  Tyrconnell.  It  was  called  Donegal 
in  more  recent  times,  owing  to  the  erection  of  a  re- 
markable fort  by  the  Danes  near  the  town  of  Donegal. 

At  the  north  end  of  Einga  Eoga  *  we  observe  the 
remains  of  an  ancient  castle,  erected  A.D.  1215,  by  the 
Barrets  of  Munster.  At  the  same  period  were  built  the 
castles  of  Dun-na-sead  at  Baltimore,  Glandore  Castle, 

*  Einga  Boja.  Point  of  the  Kout  (Joyce),  most  probably  owing 
to  the  rout  of  some  hostile  attacking  party,  who  laid  siege  to  the 

SI. etches  in  Carbtry.  33 

and  those  of  Timoleague  and  Dundeady.  In  fact 
the  majority  of  the  feudal  fortresses,  the  ruins  of 
which  to-day  are  so  thickly  scattered  over  the  face  of 
the  country,  were  constructed  in  the  early  portion  of 
the  13th  century.  The  disturbed  state  of  society, 
and  the  perpetual  petty  warfare  and  mutually  hos- 
tile reprisals  which  constantly  prevailed,  required 
that  every  large  dwelling-house  should  not  only 
shelter  its  inmates  from  the  weather,  hut  also  be 
utilized  as  a  garrison  in  times  of  danger.  Einga 
Eoga  is  connected  with  the  mainland,  on  the  eastern 
side,  by  an  excellent  causeway,  erected  by  Sir  "W. 
Becher.  The  island  is  three  miles  in  length,  and 
one  in  breadth,  comprising  986  acres.  Previous  "to 
1847,  it  contained  a  population  of  786,  but  now  there 
is  not  a  tenth  of  the  number,  and  this  great  reduc- 
tion is  to  be  generally  observed  in  most  places  along 
the  coast,  owing  to  the  constant  drain  by  emigration. 
"Time  and  tide  wait  for  no  one,"  and  we  must 
accordingly  hurry  on  to  Sherkin. 

The  island  of  Sherkin  forms  the  western  boun- 
dary of  Baltimore  harbour,  protecting  it  most  effec- 
tually, by  its  interposition,  from  the  fury  of  the 
south-western  gales  and  the  wilJWfraves  0f  the 
Atlantic.  It  is  separated  at  the  north  end,  by  a 
very  narrow  channel,  from  the  mainland,  which,  as 
the  extreme  end  of  Aghadown  parish,  projects  in  the 
form  of  a  promontory  (Turk  Head)  between  Balti- 
more on  the  east  side  and  Roaring  "Water  (Lou°h 
Trasnagh)  on  the  west.  The  ccrract  name  of  the 
island  is  Inis-Arcain — meaning  the  island  of  Arcan — 
the  name  of  a  person.  Smith  incorrectly  says  that 
the  proper  name  was  Inis  Kieran  ;  but  this  could 
I  not  possibly  be  the  case,  as  St.  Kieran  was  born 

in    C'npe   Clear,  and   had   no   communication  with 



3-i  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

Sherkin ;  at  least  we  have  no  such  account  given  in 
the  history  of  his  life. 

Smith,  though  a  clever  writer,  aud  possessed  of 
much  general  information  regarding  the  county 
Cork,  was  evidently  not  well  acquainted  with  the 
Irish  language.  Dr.  Joyce,  in  his  instructive  work, 
"  Irish  Names  of  Places,"  has  thrown  a  great  amount 
of  additional  light  on  the  topography  and  antiquities 
of  Ireland,  as  regards  the  correct  derivation  of  the 
names  of  the  various  townlands,  &c,  which  have 
mostly  an  Irish  orthography,  and  gives  us,  at  once, 
a  clear  insight  into  their  former  history,  and  identi- 
fies many  interesting  local  circumstances  which, 
otherwise,  would  he  buried  in  oblivion.  Sherkin 
extends  in  length,  from  north  to  south,  three  miles, 
and  is  ahout  a  mile  wide.  Towards  the  south,  the 
land  (where  it  faces  the  sea)  is  hold  and  elevated, 
and  terminates  in  Slea  More  (great  hill)  Point — it 
forms  the  western  boundary  of  the  narrow  channel — 
the  entrance  to  Baltimore  Harbour. 

On  the  east  side  of  the  channel,  about  a  cable's 
length  from  the  shore,  is  a  rock  called  The  Loo, 
which  Unexposed  at  low  water,  surmounted  by  a 
buoy.  On  the  30th  April,  1697,  an  important  wreck 
took  place  here  during  a  heavy  gale.  A  man-of-war, 
H.  M.  S.  "  Loo,"  struck  on  the  rock,  and  was  ship- 
wrecked. No  buoy  marked  the  spot  at  that  time, 
and  from  this  occurrence  it  derives  its  present  name. 
There  is  a  good  depth  of  water  in  the  channel,  and 
excellent  holding  ground  for  ships  near  the  Abbey 
Strand,  in  thirty  feet  of  water.  In  former  times, 
near  the  south  end  of  the  island,  some  valuable  slate 
quarries  were  extensively  worked,  the  slate  being  of 
a  ffood  description,  and  large  quantities  were  ex- 
ported to  England.     The  object  of  greatest  interest 


Sketches  in  Gurbery.  35 

on  the  island  is  the  Franciscan  Abbey,'  which 
flourished  here  during  the  15th  century.  It  was 
built,  and  at  the  same  time  also  (A.  D.  1460)  the 
adjoiuing  castle  of  Dunnalong  (the  ship  castle)  by 
Florence  O'Driscoll,  who,  according  to  the  historian 
Ware,  was  lord  of  the  town  of  Eoss,  of  Baltimore, 
and  of  the  island  of  Sherkin. 

The  Abbey  is  distinctly  visible  from  Baltimore  ; 
it  is  close  to  the  water's  edge,  near  the  Abbey  Strand. 
The  adjoining  ground  is  fertile,  and  the  situation 
selected  was  both  picturesque  and  convenient.  It 
was  built  after  the  model  of  Kilcrea  Abbey.  The 
ruins  (which  are  well  worthy  of  a  visit)  consist  of 
the  nave,  choir,  tower,  and  south  transept,  the 
intervening  wall  being  arcaded  in  a  finished  style 
with  hewn  free-stone,  procured  from  a  quarry  on  the 
island.  In  addition,  we  observe  remains  of  the 
cloisters,  refectory  and  dormitories,  all  in  tolerably 
good  preservation,  but  the  destroying  hand  of  time 
is  slowly  but  surely  crumbling  into  dust  the  relics  of 
what  formerlj^just  have  been  a  very  graceful  and 
ornamental  building.  When  we  enter  within  the 
precincts  of  the  surrounding  walls,  the  traditions  of 
the  past  are  immediately  recalled;  the  cloisters  and 
dormitories  and  the  choir  of  the  church,  which  has 
been  occupied  as  a  cemetery  for  the  last  two  centu- 
ries, present  a  desolate  and  solemn  appearance.  On 
either  side,  in  cells  hollowed  in  the  walis,  are 
heaped  up  piles  of  human  bones ;  and  around  on 
the  floor  in  every  direction  are  rude  slabs  and  head- 
stones, sad  mementoes  of  a  past  generation  that 
sleeps  beneath  the  ferns,  and  tangled  weeds,  and 
long,  coarse  grass,  which  spring  up  in  rank'  and 
wild  luxuriance  wherever  we  turn.  A  corner-stone 
near  the   east  end  of  the  building   commemorates 


36  Sketches  tn  Carhoy. 

by  an.  inscription  the  original   date   of  erection — 

The  Abbey  Tower  is  in  good  preservation,  and, 
having  entered  by  a  narrow,  dark  orifice,  arched 
over  with  cut-stone,  we  can  ascend  at  our  leisure  the 
spiral  staircase  which  conducts  us  in  safety  to  the 
summit  of  the  tower  or  belfry.  This  staircase  is 
what  is  commonly  described  as  a  geometrical  one. 
Each  step  is  of  free-stone,  about  two  anda-half  to  three 
feet  long,  pyramidal  in  shape,  the  base  or  outer  end 
of  the  pyramid  being  implanted  in  the  surrounding 
wall,  and  the  inner  detached  and  narrow  end  sup- 
porting the  step  above,  and  being  supported  by  the 
one  beneath ;  and  so  on  to  the  top.  In  one  or  two 
places  the  steps  have  been  destroyed.  There  is  a 
small  loop-hole  in  the  walls,  about  every  twelve 
steps,  to  admit  light.  At  last  we  reach  the  ledge 
which  surmounts  the  entire  structure,  and  carefully 
steal  along  around  the  entire  circumference,  until 
we  reach  the  Wishing  Chair,  from  which  airy  emi- 
nence we  obtain  a  most  charming  view.  We  observe 
the  Hen  winding  picturesquely  through  the  clusters 
of  rocky  islets  which  stud  its  mouth  ;  the  high  land 
of  Cape,  and  the  broad  blue  ocean  to  the  south ;  the 
romantic  harbour  of  Baltimore,  and  the  rugged  sea- 
coast  in  the  background;  and,  turning  our  gaze  west- 
ward,we  espy  Eoaring  Water  Bay  (Lough  Trasnagh), 
with  some  of  Carbery's  Hundred  Isles  stretched  out 
before  us  as  on  a  map ;  and  the  bleak,  bold,  and  barren 
Mount  Gabriel  looming  out  in  the  distance,  clearly 
and  well  defined. 

Before  concluding  our  notice  of  Sherkin  it  may 
be  interesting  to  describe  the  subterranean  caves  or 
chambers,  which  were  explored  a  few  years  ago. 
Starting  from  the  Abbey  and  Duuelong  Castle,  which 

Sketches  m  Carberi).  3? 

formed  the  subject  of  the  last  sketch,  a  narrow,  rugged 
path  leads  us  through  the  centre  of  the  island — to 
its  wild  western  shore — where  we  observe  a  com- 
pletely land-locked  harbour — Kinish  or  Cooney  har- 
bour— which  communicates  with  Roaring  Water  Bay 
by  means  of  a  narrow  strait,  where  there  is  a  good 
depth  of  water.    This  little  harbour,  which  has  more 
the    appearance    of  a   salt-water   lake,   is   shallow 
throughout,  with  an  average  depth  of  about  12  feet ; 
it  formerly,  owing  to  its  sheltered  position,  afforded, 
when  the  fisheries  were  more  flourishing  than  they 
are  now,  a  safe  anchorage  to  fishing  smacks,  of  which 
as  many  as  thirty  at  a  time  often  took  refuge  here 
during  the  prevalence  of  bad  weather.     At  present 
a  solitary  boat  or  two  may  be  observed    reclining 
idly  on  the  beach.     It  is  only  to  be  hoped  a  revival 
of  an  important  and  lucrative  branch  of  industry 
will  again  enable  the  fishermen  to  seek  the  shelter, 
when  the  occasion  requires  it,  of  this  secluded  but 
safe  retreat  from  the  storms  of  the  Atlantic. 

Standing  on  a  rocky  summit  near  the  beach,  on 
a  fine  day  in  summer,  a  sea  view  opens  before  us  of 
rare  beauty.  The  bold  bluff  headlands  of  Cape  Clear 
are  near  at  hand,  and  the  rushing  tide,  which  sweeps 
so  hurriedly  through  the  Grasconane  Sound,  the  whole 
expanse  of  Roaring  Water  Bay,  and  its  numerous 
Islands,  and  in  the  far  distance — the  most  southerly 
point  of  Ireland — the  Mizen  Head  is  visible,  termi- 
nating the  long  sweep  of  rocky,  mountainous  coast 
line,  stretching  away  in  the  direction  of  Skull  and 

Between  Cooney  Harbour  and  the  north-western 
shore  several  underground  chambers  were  acciden- 
tally discovered  in   the    month    of  October,    1869 
Whilst  some  labourers  were  engaged  at  work,  digging 

38  Sketches  in  Carter;/. 

in  the  corner  of  a  stubble  field,  one  of  the  spades  sud- 
denly penetrated  a  hole  in  the  ground,  and,  the  opening 
having  been  enlarged,  it  was  observed  that  it  com- 
municated with  a  dark  underground  cavern,  hollowed 
out  of  the  stiff  clayey  subsoil.  Descending,  we 
entered  a  vaulted  chamber,  shaped  like  a  bee-hive, 
and,  having  the  following  dimensions— length,  10 
feet— breadth,  6  feet— height,  in  centre,  about  5  feet. 
The  sides  and  roof  were  composed  of  stiff  white  clay, 
intermixed  with  gravel.  No  rubble  masonry,  stone's, 
or  plaster  had  been  used  in  the  construction.  The  floor 
was  also_  gravel  and  clay.  The  chamber  communi- 
cated with  a  second  of  the  same  dimensions,  by 
means  of  a  narrow  circular  opening  about  2\  feet 
high,  and  2  feet  wide.  Having  forced  our  way 
through  the  aperture .  on  all  fours,  in  company  with 
a  lantern,  we  entered  the  second  chamber,  and  in 
the  same  manner  four  more,  making  six  altogether, 
answering  nearly  in  all  particulars  to  the  description 
given  above.  The  last;  chamber  was  more  difficult 
of  ^trance,  the  orifice  leading  into  it  being  very 
narrow;  it  was  also  of  somewhat  smaller  dimensions. 
Here,  after  having  crept  a  distance  of  sixty  feet 
under  ground,  after  the  manner  of  the  ancient  Trog- 
lodytes, we  were  brought  to  a  full  stop,  as  at  the 
extreme  end  of  the  sixth  chamber  the  place  was 
blocked  up  with  large,  irregular  stones.  On  removing 
one  or  two  of  these,  a  narrow  dark  chimney  or  ven- 
tilating shaft  was  discovered,  which,  even  the  most 
experienced  sweep  would  not  venture  to  explore,  and 
whose  direction  and  final  mode  of  exit  we  were 
obliged  to  remain  ignorant  of.  The  entire  floor  of 
this  cell  was  covered  thickly  with  a  layer  of  dark 
soot,  and  the  surrounding  walls  were  blackened  as  if 
by  smoke.   No  ancient  relics  were  observed,  or  Ogham 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  39 

inscriptions.  There  was  no  difficulty  in  breathing, 
as  a  current  of  pure  air  rushed  through  the  chimney, 
and  a  candle  burned  brightly  when  introduced 
through  the  aperture.  The  field  in  which  the  under- 
ground chambers  were  discovered  was  similar  in 
appearance  and  on  a  level  with  the  surrounding 
land,  and  no  tumulus  or  vestiges  of  a  rath  could  be 
observed  in  the  neighbourh  ood .  An  an  eient  islan  der, 
who  was  present,  stated  that  they  had  been  opened 
accidentally  about  twenty  years  previously,  and  that 
a  human  skeleton  was  found  buried  near  the  entrance, 
and  that  it  crumbled  into  dust  when  handled,  proving 
its  antiquity ;  he  also  stated  that  a  narrow  stream  of 
water,  at  that  time,  flowed  through  the  centre  of 
each  crypt.  No  tradition  exists  in  the  island  of 
their  having  been  used  at  any  period  by  poteen  dis- 
tillers, smugglers,  or  pirates,  as  receptacles  for  con- 
traband goods  or  "  mountain  dew." 

As  we  ate  discussing  now  a  very  interesting  subject, 
it  may  be  cot  amiss  to  diverge  somewhat  from  the 
beaten  track,  and  leaving  Sherkin  to  take  care  of  it- 
self, enlarge  a  little  on  these  curious  artificial  caverns 
in  the  soil,  which  still  exist,  almost  untouched  by  the 
hand  of  time,  so  extensively  throughout  the  south  of 
Ireland,  and  which,  if  we  are  to  believe  some  anti- 
quarians, were  formerly  the  abodes  of  Ireland's 
aborigines,  over  a  thousand  years  before  the  Chris- 
tian era.  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Skibbereen,  on 
the  lands  of  Lurriga  (ridge  or  shin),  the  property  of 
M'Carthy  Downing,  M.P.,in  a  large  field  adjoining 
Clover  Hill  House,  an  opening  was  accidentally  dis- 
covered in  the  soil  in  November.  1869,  which,  on 
being  enlarged,  enabled  a  descend  into  an 
underground  chamber,  about  four  feet  beneath  the 
surface,  of  the  usual  oven  or  bee-hive  shape,  and 

40  Slcelchca  in  Carboy. 

hollowed  out  of  the  stiff  clay  subsoil.  Human  bones, 
evidently  very  ancient,  were  discovered  near  the 
entrance.  The  dimensions  and  appearance  were  the 
same  as  those  already  alluded  to  on  the  island  of 
Sherkin.  Three  other  chambers,  taking  a  spiral 
direction,  were  also  entered,  a  narrow  circular  pas- 
sage leading  from  one  to  the  other.  No.  3  was 
blocked  up  by  large  stones,  so  firmly  impacted  that 
further  progress  was  completely  checked.  Over 
head  on  the  surface  of  the  soil  was  a  large  horizontal 
fiat  stone  or  lintel,  which  seemed  from  its  position, 
overlying  an  opening  into  one  of  the  caves,  to  have 
answered  the  purpose  of  a  rude  door.  With  regard 
to  the  conformation  of  the  land  where  these  cells 
were  explored,  it  is  worthy  of  remark,  that  it  appeared 
to  be  artificial — a  raised  oblong  mound,  probably 
one  of  the  ancient  tooms  or  tumuli,  referred  to  in 
■works  on  Archceology,  and  supposed  to  have  been 
used  in  pagan  times  as  cemeteries.  About  a  quarter 
of  a  mile  to  the  east  on  the  same  land  is  a  small 
ratli  or  fort.  The  site  of  Lurriga  House,  which  forms 
the  extreme  western  limit  of  this  mound,  bears  also 
a  general  resemblance  to  an  ancient  rath;  although 
no  traces  of  rampart  or  .fosse  remain,  the  subsoil  in 
some  places  has  been  tunnelled  out;  and  this  confirms 
the  belief  that  such  was  the  case,  and  it  is  not  unlikely 
that  the  entire  series  of  cells  were  closely  connected 
toge^ier  along  the  entire  length,  from  one  fort  to 
the  other  by  a  continuous  passage,  allowing  a  free 

It  is  evident  that  in  the  country  around  Skibbereen, 
the  raths  or  lisses  or  forts,  which  are  more  or  less 
synonymous  terms,  and  underground  caverns,  were 
very  abundant,  as  the  present  names  would  indicate  : 
for  instance,  Lissard,  Lissangle,  Lissalohorig,  Letter, 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  ^i 

formerly  called  Letteranlis,  &c.  The  fort  at  Lake- 
lands appears  to  have  been  a  very  important  one, 
and  is  in  perfect  preservation ;  the  concentric  high 
earthen  ramparts,  with  the  deep  intervening  fosse, 
(which  was  capable  of  being  artificially  flooded  with 
water  when  danger  threatened)  are  on  an  extensive 
scale,  and  a  surrounding  circle  of  stunted  oak  trees 
at  present  occupies  the  fo?se,  imparting  a  venerable 
appearance  to  the  entire  structure. 

Smith  refers  to  subterranean  caverns,  which  were 
casually  discovered  in  his  time,  in  the  vicinity  of  Ross- 
carbery,  and  which  obtained  so  much  notoriety  that  he 
has  taken  the  trouble  of  making  some  drawings  of  them 
in  his  "History  of  Cork; "  he  has  also  alluded  to  some 
very  interesting  ones  in  the  parish  of  Aghabolotme, 
near  Macroom.  With  regard  to  those  near  Ross,  whicb 
were  opened  about  the  year  1760,  he  states: — "As 
some  people  were  lately  digging  for  clay  near  the 
Cathedral  Church,  Rosscarbery,  a  deep  subterraneous 
cavity  appeared,  which  seemed  to  lead  to  some  caverns 
that  were  discovered  about  thirty  years  before  at  the 
west  end  of  the  town,  which  were  two  hundred  yards 
from  the  hole  now  opened.     By  descending,  several 
oval  chambers  were  discovered,  being  mostly  twelve 
feet  long  and  six  bsoad,  having  long  narrow  passages 
leading  from  one  to  the  other.    These  passages  were 
but  eighteen  inches  broad  and  three  feet  high,   so 
that  it  was  necessary  to  creep  from  cell  to  cell.     At 
one  end  of  each  chamber  stood  a  broad  flag-stone, 
resembling  the  back-stone  of  a  fire  place.     The  roof 
of  each  cell  consisted  of  a  Gothic  arch,  formed  of  a 
stiff  clay,  from  the  centre  of  which  to  the  ground  it 
was  no  more  than  five  feet  two  inches  high.     The 
walls  were  made  of  stone,  smoothly  plastered,  and 
the  whole  lined  with  soot,  so  that  fires  had  been 


42  Sketches  in  Carbcry. 

made  in  them.  Tlie  common  tradition  concerning 
them  is  that  they  were  made  by  the  Danes  ;  but  the 
more  intelligent  Irish  antiquarians  say  they  were 
inhabited  by  the  Firbolges,  a  people  of  whom  there 
is  much  mention  in  their  MSS.  Homer's  description 
of  the  Cimmerians  (Odys  Lib.  xi.)  answers  very  well 
to  the  -inhabitants  of  these  gloomy  places."  The 
foregoing  abstract  has  been  given  at  full  length,  the 
description  answering,  in  most  particulars,  to  that 
already  given  of  the  Sherkin  caves,  and,  besides,  it 
goes  to  prove  that  the  belief  as  to  these  extraordinary 
chambers  having  been  places  of  residence  was  very 
strong  amongst  antiquarians  even  a  hundred  years 
ago.  Extract  of  a  letter  from  Peake,  in  the  parish 
of  Aghahologue,  and  county  of  Cork,  written  by  the 
Eeverend  Marmaduke  Cox,  March,  1755  (Smith)  — 
"Last  Thursday,  as  some  labourers  were  making  a 
ditch,  to  enclose  a  potato  garden,  one  of  them  dropped 
his  spade  into  a  deep  hole,  which  obliged  him  to 
open  the  earth  to  get  out  his  spade,  where  he  found 
a  passage  into  fifteen,  some  say  seventeen,  very  large 
subterraneous  ;rooms  or  caverns,  in  one  of  which,  by 
estimation,  were  above  five  hundred  skeletons,  all 
entire,  and  laid  at  a  distance  of  about  a'  foot  from 
each  other.  All  these  bones  were  so  fragile  and  desti- 
tute of  animal  matter,  from  the  length  of  time  they 
had  been  immured,  that  they  crumbled  into  dust  on 
being  handled,  or  even  exposed  to  a  current  of  air. 
'Tis  imagined  there  must  be  another  passage  to  those 
subterraneous  chambers  from  a  Danish  fort,  about 
one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  from  the  present  entrance, 
this  being  very  narrow.  The  rooms  are  about  five 
feet  high.  There  are  other  chambers  that  are  not 
got  into,  the  entrance  being  defended  by  very  large 
stones,   laid  in  the   doors,   which  cannot  be  easily 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  43 

Removed.  "Whether  they  were  habitations  of  the 
aboriginal  Irish  or  contrived  by  the  Danes  the 
curious  may  judge.  There  was  a  beautiful  carved 
wood  comb  and  comb-case,  but  the  air  mouldered  it 
into  dust.  'Tis  supposed  if  an  entrance  can  be  made 
into  these  chambers,  defended  by  these  stones,  that 
some  curiosities  will  be  found  that  will  give  further 
light  into  this  affair,  for  one  part  of  these  caverns 
was  their  dwelling,  and  the  other  part  the  repository 
of  their  dead." 

The  preceding  account  has  been  given  in  extenso, 
as  it  confirms  the  generally  accepted  opinion  prevail- 
ing now-a-days,  that,  where  these  peculiar  artificial 
cells  existed  beneath  a  mound  or  tumulus,  or  under 
the  surface  of  the  soil  where  no  traces  of  a  rampart 
and  fosse  belonging  to  a  lis  or  rath  could  be 
detected,  they  were  undoubtedly  used  in  the  old 
pagan  times,  for  centuries  before  the  Christian 
era,  as  repositories  or  catacombs.  It  seems  that  cre- 
mation was  also  had  recourse  to,  but  interment  was 
the  general  custom  amongst  the  Irish,  in  the  days 
of  paganism,  as  the  cinerary  urns  are  of  more  or 
less  rare  occurrence,  discovered  sometimes  imbedded 
in  ^the  soil  beneath  the  ancient  cromlechs,  some  of 
them  of  very  choice  and  finished  workmanship.  It 
seems  strange  that  a  custom  peculiar  to  a  pre-Chris- 
tiau  era,  and  even  then  only  partially  adopted  in 
this  country,  viz.  cremation,  should  be  sought  to 
be  re-established  in  a  Christian  land  and  a  civilized 
age,  but  such  is  the  fact.  "  History  repeats  itself," 
and  modern  customs  are  more  than  closely  allied  to 
those  which  prevailed  some  thousands  of  years  ago. 
Before  concluding  the  present  sketch,  it  may  be  well 
to  give  a  resume'  and  some  general  remarks  on  the 
ancient  forms  of  habitations,  and  also  a  brief  account 

4i  Sketches- in  Cctroei^/}. 

of  the  peculiar  Ogham  inscriptions — the  Chinese  puzzle 
of  Irish  antiquarians,  still  as  involved  in  ohscurity 
and  mystery  for  want  of  a  complete  key  to  their  solu- 
tion, owing  to  the  rust  of  ages,  as  the  hieroglyphics 
of  Egypt,  or  the  cuneiform  inscriptions  of  Persia  and 
Assyria,  On  referring  to  the  most  ancient  authori- 
ties, whose  works  are  looked  on  as  authentic,  we  are 
informed  that  the  earliest  habitations  used  by  mankind 
were  either  subterranean  caverns  or  temporary  huts 
of  a  rude  construction,  composed  of  laths  or  wattles, 
closely  interwoven  together  and  plastered  over.  In 
Ireland,  the  latter  were  erected  on  the  circular  area, 
enclosed  within  the  concentric  ramparts  which  sur- 
rounded the  rath. 

The  subterranean  chambers,  it  must  be  presumed, 
owing  to  their  narrow  dimensions,  could  hardly  have 
been  used  as  regular  dwelling-places ;  it  seems  more 
probable,  weighing  carefully  the  evidence  we  derive 
from. the  most  trustworthy  sources,  that  in  Ireland, 
which  abounds  so  plentifully  in  these  curious  relics 
of  a  remote  age,  the  tumuli  and  barrows  were 
hollow  beneath  the  surface,  with  the  object  of 
using  them  as  sepulchral  repositories,  as  evidenced 
by  the  frequent  discovery  of  human  remains,  and  of 
Ogham  inscriptions  recording  the  burial  of  some 
illustrious  personage.  The  cavities,  immediately  con- 
nected with  the  rath  or  fort,  were  intended  as  places 
of  refuge  or  modes  of  escape  in  times  of  pressing 
danger,  or  storehouses  for  the  reception  of  supplies  of 
food,  to  meet  the  requirements  and  necessities  of  the 
inhabitants,  when  obliged  to  retreat  within  the 
friendly  protection  of  their  fortress  from  an  external 
invasion.  It  is  quite  certain  that  the  raths,  familiarly 
called  "  Danish  Forts,"  were  not  erected  by  the  ruth- 
less Norsemen  to  any  great  extent,  as  a  rule,  as  they 


Sketches  in  Curler y.  4-5 

abound  mostly  in  those  inland  parts  of  the  south  of 
Ireland  where  the  Danes  never  penetrated  ;  and  the 
most  reliable  Irish  historians  state  that  the  Danes 
seized  upon  the  original  raths,  and  occupied  them, 
as,  being  of  a  roving  disposition  and  having  a  plun- 
dering and  destructive  tendency,  they  in  rare  in- 
stances took  the  trouble  to  erect  dwellings  for 
themselves,  except  along  the  sea-shore: — 

Their  trade  was  war,  with  sword  and  flame 
They  swept  the  land  where'er  they  came  ; 
Nor  mercy  knew,  nor  cared  for  right, 
Their  only  law,  the  warrior*s  might ; 
No  peaceful  omen  could  they  bring, 
When  waved  aloft  the  raven's*  wing. 

•A  spread  raven  was  the  Danish  coat  of  arms 

46  Sketches  in  Carbery. 


Sherkin  continued — Castle  surrendered  to  Captain HarTey,  AD.  1601, 
after  battle  of  Kinsale— The  O'Driscolls  during  the  15th  century 
— Full  account  of  the  invasion  from  Waterford — Digression  upon 
the  ancient  Celtic  writing  known  as  the  Ogham — Cromlechs,  their 
history — The  various  forms  of  habitation  in  ancient  times — Baths, 
Duns,  Cahirs,  Crannogues,  &c. 

Sherkix  Castle  was  surrendered  to  Captain  Harvey 
on  the  23rd  February,  1601,  by  O'Driscoll.  The 
latter  bad  only  just  defeated  the  Spaniards,  who  re- 
fused to  restore  the  castle  to  him  after  the  battle  of 
Kinsale.  A  commission  was  granted  to  Captain 
Harvey  by  the  Lord  Deputy  Mountjoy  for  the 
government  of  Carbery.  Smith  informs  us  that  the 
barony  of  Carbery  gave  title  to  the  family  of  Vaughan, 
one  of  whom  was  made  Earl  of  Carbery  by  King 
Charles  I.  The  last  earl  died  in  1712 — aged  74. 
The  earldom  then  became  extinct,  there  being  no 
male  heirs,  and  his  daughter  and  sole  heiress,  the 
Lady  Anne  Vaughan,  was  married  to  the  Duke  of 
Bolton.  The  first  baron  holding  the  present  title 
was  created  Baron  of  Carbery,  May  9th,  1715,  on 
the  visit  of  George  I.  The  Algerines,  who  sacked 
Baltimore  on  the  20th  June,  1631,  did  not  interfere 
with  Sherkin  or  its  inhabitants  ;  most  probably  they, 
were  in  too  great  a  hurry  to  escape  with  their  ill- 
gotten  booty.  A  regular  fortification  was  erected 
on  Shorkin,  which  was  garrisoned  in  Queen  Anne's 
time;    near   it  were  barracks,  nearly  all  traces   of 

Sketches  in  Car  ben/.  47 

which  have  disappeared,  but  at  low  water  oue  or 
two  of  the  guns  which  formerly  defended  the  for- 
tress can  be  observed  lying  underneath  the  water 
near  the  beach.  About  a  hundred  years  ago,  a 
good  house  existed  within  the  walls  of  the  fort,  which 
was  occupied  by  Captain  Lionel  Becher. 

Innisherkin  was  destined  to  undergo,  notwith- 
standing its  remote  position,  the  terrors  of  a  hostile 
invasion.  At  various  periods  during  the  15th  cen- 
tury, the  O'Driscolls,  who  were  of  a  roving  disposi- 
tion, had  sailed  round  to  "Waterford,  and  allied 
themselves  with  the  Powers  of  that  county  in  attacks 
upon  the  city  with  the  object  of  plunder — the  fortune 
of  war  sometimes  being  favourable,  and  at  other 
times  adverse  to  their  cause.  "  In  the  year  1450, 
stat.  28,  Hen.  IV.,  No.  10,  it  was  enacted,  as  divers 
of  the  King's  subjects  had  been  slain  by  Fineen 
O'Hedriescoll,  chieftain  of  the  nation,  that  no  person 
of  the  ports  of  "Waterford,  "Wexford,  &c,  shall  go 
within  the  country  of  the  said  O'Hedriescoll,  under 
heavy  penalties  of  forfeiture,"  &c.  Matters  readied  a 
climax  in  the  year  1537,  owing  to  the  following 
occurrence : — 

"  Ou  the  20th  February,  1537,  four  ships  from 
Lisbon,  with  a  cargo  of  wine  on  board,  consigned  to 
the  Waterford  merchants,  were  driven  by  stress  of 
weather  to  Cape  Clear,  Baltimore,  and  the  Old  Head 
of  Kinsale.  One  of  the  ships,  the  "  Santa  Maria  De 
Soci,"  laden  with  100  tuns  of  wine,  took  refuge  in  a 
bay  near  the  entrance  of  Baltimore  harbour,  was 
boarded  by  Conoghar  O'Driseoll,  chieftain  of  Sherkin, 
and  his  sons,  and  piloted  safely  into  Baltimore  har- 
bour, the  stipulated  reward  for  the  pilotage  being 
three  pipes  of  wine."  Such  is  the  account  given  and 
recorded  by  Smith  and  others,  who   add  that,  the 

43  Sketches  in  Carlcry. 

vintage  was  so  enticing  and  stimulating  in  its  nature, 
that  it  led  to  a  flagrant  breach  of  trust  on  the  part 
of  the  local  magnates,  for  they  are  said  to  have 
invited  the  merchants  and  officers  to  an  entertain- 
ment in  Baltimore  Castle,  seized  on  their  persons, 
loaded  them  with  manacles,  and  afterwards  attacked 
the  ship  in  their  galleys,  and  took  possession  of  the 
wine,  which  was  freely  distributed  amongst  all  their 

It  is  more  than  probable  that  a  spirit  of  reprisal 
upon  the  citizens  of  Waterford — with  whom  it  seems 
that  a  sort  of  chronic  petty  warfare  had  been  estab- 
lished— was  more  influential  in  leading  them  into 
such  a  decided  breach  of  the  peace  than  the  actual 
and  deliberate  desire  of  plundering  a  solitary  ship ; 
however,  that  cause  may  have  had  its  influence  too, 
as,  during  the  period  we  allude  to,  the  rights  of 
property,  and  the  legal  claims  of  individuals  to  the 
fruits  of  the  soil  and  their  industry  and  enterprise 
were  not  as  jealously  guarded  by  Parliamentary 
statutes  as  they  are  at  the  present  day.  When  news 
arrived  in  Waterford  of  the  ship's  seizure  by  O'Dris- 
coll,  an  armed  expedition  was  fitted  out,  under  the 
command  of  Captain  Dobbyn,  and  reached  Baltimore 
on  the  5th  March.  As  they  boarded  the  "  St.  Maria" 
on  one  side,  O'Driscoll's  sons  and  his  followers  took 
flight,  and  escaped  at  the  other  side.  Dobbyn  im- 
mediately set  the  crew  at  liberty,  and  weighing 
anchor,  proceeded  back  to  Waterford.  Of  the  100 
tuns  of  wine,  twenty-five  only  remained  unconsumed. 
On  the  27th  of  same  month,  a  more  formidable  ex- 
pedition of  400  men,  thoroughly  equipped  for  action, 
set  sail  from  Waterford  in  two  large  vessels,  and  the 
great  galley  of  the  city,  under  command  of  Bailiff 
Woodlock  and  Captains  Dobbyn,  Wood!ock,  Walsh, 

Sketches  in  Carhcry.  49 

mid  Butler.  They  anchored  off  Duneloug  Castle 
(Sherkin)  near  the  Abbey,  and  besieged  and  captured 
the  castle,  which  the}r  held  for  five  days.  They 
overran  the  island  with  fire  and  sword,  destroyed  all 
the  villages,  and  almost  reduced  to  ruins  the  Fran- 
ciscan Abbey,  and  a  large  mill  which  adjoined  that 
building.  The  fortress  of  Dunelong  (the  ship's  castle), 
which  was  then  a  very  strong  and  extensive  structure, 
and  surrounded  by  high  imposing  walls  and  barbi- 
cans enclosing  a  goodly  bawn,  the  enclosure  where 
the  outer  buildings  were  usually  erected,  was  nearly 
levelled  to  the  ground.  Large  stores  of  malt,  barlev, 
and  salt  were  taken  possession  of,  and  Fineen's  chief 
galley  of  thirty  oars,  with  about  eighty  pinnaces. 
Forty  of  the  latter  were  burnt,  and  the  remainder, 
with  the  great  galley,  were  taken  back  to  Waterford 
as  trophies  of  war.  The  invading  troops  from  "Water- 
ford  were  not  satisfied,  however,  with  the  destruction 
of  property  in  Sherkin.  They  also  landed  on  some 
of  the  neighbouring  islands,  which  they  treated  in  a 
similar  manner,  and  to  wind  up  the  entire  programme, 
they  burnt  and  destroyed  the  town  of  Baltimore, 
establishing  the  precedent  for  the  Algerine,  and 
broke  down  Teigh  O'Driscoll's  goodly  castle  and 
baun  (probably  Dunashad). 

Within  the  antriles  or  crypts  of  the  ancient  raths, 
in  the  subterranean  chambers  of  the  barrows  or  arti- 
ficial tumuli,  and  inscribed  on  the  edges  of  those 
peculiar  pillar  stones  (gallauns)  and  cromlechs 
(ancient  tombs),  antiquarians  have  discovered  occa- 
sionally traces  of  the  Ogham  ("oum")  characters, 
supposed  to  have  been  the  occult  mode  of  writing 
known  to  the  Druids,  and  the  knowledge  of  which 
mysterious  possession  was  carefully  concealed  from 
the  mass  of  the  people.     It  is  believed  that  the  art 



Sketches  'in  Carbcri)-. 

of  writing  in  the  Ogham  language  was  originally,  in 
all  probability,  introduced  by  the  Milesians  or  Scotic 
colonies,  who  reached  Ireland  from  Gallicia,  in  the 
north  of  Spain  (about  1308,  A.  C. — according  to  Cor- 
rnac  MacCuillenan,  "  The  Book  of  Conquests,"  and 
"The  Polychronicon"),  after  migrating  to  the  latter 
place  from  Asia  Minor. 

Many  suppose  that  it  originated  with  the  Tuatha 
de  Danaans,  who  colonized  Ireland  some  centuries 
before  tlie  Milesians.  The  fact  of  their  Oriental 
origin,  and  the  close  affinity  prevailing  between  the 
relics  of  the  Ogham  and  the  ancient  inscriptions  of 
•Phoenicia  and  Persia,  would  strengthen  our  belief 
that  the  Druids  accprired  their  knowledge  of  writing 
in  secret  characters  from  the  East,  the  cradle  of  the 
arts  and  sciences,  and  the  main  source  from  which 
the  stream  of  early  colonization  flowed  towards  the 
shores  of  Ireland.-  The  date  of  its  first  adoption 
must  have  been  extremely  remote,  and  goes  far  to 
justify  the  assertions  of  many  learned  philologists 
that  the  use  of  symbolic  letters  was  known  to  the 
Druids  in  Ireland  for  a  considerable  time  before  they 
were  introduced  into  the  other  countries  of  Western 
Europe.  It  is  well-known  that  the  Phoenicians 
carried  on  an  extensive  trade,  and  had  frequent 
intercourse  with  the  southern  and  south-western 
coasts  of  Ireland,  and  it  is  significant  that  the 
relics  of  the  Ogham  inscriptions  should  be  almost 
exclusively  confined  to  that  section  of  Ireland.  We 
know  that  Cadmus,  king  of  Phoenicia,  1490  years 
before  the  Christian  Era,  was  the  first  to  intro- 
duce the  art  of  letters  into  Greece,  and  the  same 
number,  viz.,  16  letters,  the  original  Cadmeian 
jvmber,  was  subsequently  adopted  in  the  Irish 
■•  lphabet. 

Sketches  m  Carle?}}.  51 

The  Ogham*  writing  is  classed  under  the  head  of 
cryptographic  or  stenographic,  and,  as  far  as  the  in- 
scriptions can  be  deciphered  at  the  j^resent,  it  appears 
they  were  chiefly  used  to  commemorate  the  burials 
of  illustrious  persons,  and  chronicle  their  feats  of 
war,  or  their  deeds  of  goodness,  as  well  as  the  peculiar 
circumstances  of  their  death.  The  very  sites  on 
which  they  are  discovered  corroborate  this  opinion, 
as  beneath  the  barrows,  pillar-stones,  and  cromlechs, 
we  frequently  discover  the  cinerary  urns  and  mortal 
remains  of  those  who  lived  in  the  remote  pre-Christian 
times.  Wright  says  "  That  it  is,  indeed,  most  probable 
that  all  the  Druidical  monuments,  circles,  cromlechs, 
&c,  whatever  other  uses  they  may  have  served,  such, 
I  dare  say,  as  important  boundaries  or  places  of 
solemn  assembly,  were  originally  connected  with 

Moore,  in  his  "History  of  Ireland,"  introduces  the 
following  interesting  passage,  which  enlightens  us 
on  the  subject  of  the  Ogham.  Quoting  from  the 
tale  of  the  children  of  Usneach,  "  One  of  the  Three 
Tragic  Stories  of  Erin,"  in  which  the  interment  of 
the  young  lovers  is  thus  pathetically  represented: 
"After  this  song  Deirdie  flung  herself  upon  Naisi, 
in  the  grave,  and  died  forthwith,  and  stones  were 
laid  over  their  monumental  heap;  their  Ogham  name 
was  inscribed,  and  their  dirge  of  lamentation  was 
sung."  The  same  celebrated  writer,  of  whom  we 
might  well  say,  "  Nil  tetigit  quod  nan  omavit,"  in 
his  beautifully  classic  and  poetic  style,  introduces  the 
following  eloquent  passage,  when  describing  the  an- 
tiquity of  the  Irish  language  ("History  of  Ireland):" 
"  Abundant  and  various  as   are  the  monuments  to 

*  Ogham  (Collins).     "  0"  offspring  of,  and  " cuaim"  wisdom. 



Sketches  in  Carberj/. 

which  Ireland  can  point  as  mule  evidences  of  her 
antiquity,  she  hoasts  a  yet  more  striking  proof  in 
the  living  language  of  her  people,  in  that  most 
genuine,  if  not  only,  existing  dialect  of  the  oldest  of 
all  European,  tongues — the  tongue  which,  whatever 
name  it  may  he  called  by,  according  to  the  various 
and  vague  theories  respecting  it— whether  Japethan, 
Cimmerian,  Pelasgic,  or  Celtic,  is  accounted  most 
generally  to  have  been  the  earliest  brought  from  the 
East  by  the  Noachidae,  and,  accordingly,  to  have 
been  the  vehicle  of  the  first  knowledge  that  dawned 
upon  Europe.  In  the  still  written  and  spoken  dialect 
of  this  primaeval  language,  we  possess  a  monument 
of  the  highest  antiquity  of  the  people  to  whom  it 
belongs,  which  no  cavil  can  reach  nor  any  doubts 

Every  day  the  accumulating  knowledge  of  ancient 
history  as  regards  Ireland,  is  adding  additional 
proofs  that  a  comparatively  high  state  of  civilization 
prevailed  in  remote  times.  Ptolemy,  the  celebrated 
geographer,  who  flourished  in  the  3rd  century,  was 
familiar,  by  repute,  with  the  coast  of  Ireland,  and 
even  mapped  out  the  most  remarkable  promontories 
and  estuaries  ;  as,  for  instance,  the  Mizen  Head, 
which  he  called  {Notium  Promontorium),  and  the 
Kenmare  Piver,  &c.  He  also  enumerated  a  number 
of  Irish  cities,  to  which  he  gives  the  title  of  illustrious 
or  distinguished,  whilst  in  Germany,  about  the  same 
period,  as  we  learn  from  Tacitus,  no  other  habitations 
were  known  than  detached  huts  and  caves.  We  can, 
accordingly,  realize  the  truth  of  the  titles— Ogygia 
(the  Ancient  Isle),  Ierne  (the  Sacred  Isle),  and  in  the 
early  period  of  the  Christian  era,  the  name  of  Insula 
Sanctorum  ct  Doctorum  applied  by  various  authors, 
to  the  Emerald  Isle.     The  correct  reading  of  the 

Sketches  in  Curler ij.  53 

Ogham  inscriptions  would  certainly  add  much,  to 
our  information  regarding  pagan  times,  but  so  con- 
flicting have  been  occasionally  the  different  versions 
by  acknowledged  authorities,  that  we  feel  inclined 
to  hesitate  before  we  accede  our  credence  to  all  the 
theories  enunciated,  which  remind  us  forcibly  at 
times  of  Professors  Huxley  and  Tyndall  in  then- 
erratic  evolutions,  and  their  fanciful  flights  to  the 
philosophic  regions  of  Laputa  after  primordial  orga- 
nisms, microscopic  dust,  and  the  ultimate  atoms  of 
molecular  matter. 

The  popular  idea  among  the  peasantry  regarding 
the  pillar-stones  and  cromlechs,  althoxigh  of  a 
ludicrous  character,  still  shows  respect  for  their  anti- 
quity— fully  believing  that  they  were  finger-stones 
nsed  by  Finn  MacCumhaill,  and  the  other  giants  of 
the  past,,  when  they  wanted  to  amuse  their  leisure 

I  have  already  referred  to  the  quaint  and  humorous 
ideas  entertained  at  one  time  by  the  peasantry  re- 
garding the  origin  of  the  Druidical  antiquities — the 
belief  that  prevails  as  to  the  gallauns  or  pillar-stones 
having  been  used  as  finger-stones  by  the  giants  of 
old.  Near  the  banks  of  the  river  lien,  on  the  lands 
of  Lissangle,  is  a  remarkable  pillar-stone,  and  an  ad- 
joining cromlech  (tomb),  the  upper  stone  of  which 
is  of  a  globular  form ;  and  the  current  belief  in  the 
neighbourhood  is  that  the  upright  pillar-stone  was 
Finn  MacCumhaill's  hurly,  and  the  round  reclining 
one  the  ball  with  which  he  used  to  play  the  national 
game  (hurly),  which  promises'  soon  to  become  as 
fully  a  traditionary  relic  of  the  past  as  the  adven- 
tures and  exploits  of  Finn  MacCumhaill  or  Labraid 
Linseach  Great  giants  and  men  of  here  llean 
strength  they  must  have  been  in  those  remote  ages. 


54  Sketches  in  Carle///. 

How  far  surpassing  their  diminutive  descendants  of 
the  present  day,  "who  do  not  even  equal  in  height 
the  venerable  pillar-stones  which  the  giants  could 
not  only  carry  in  their  hands,  hut  even  wield  between 
their  fingers ! 

For  full  information  regarding  the  Ogham  inscrip- 
tions, we  must  refer  our  readers  to  the  writings  of 
Samuel  Ferguson,  and  Dr.  Graves,  Bishop  of  Lime- 
rick ;  and  also  of  Messrs.  Abell,  Windele,  Brash,  and 
Rev.  M.  Horgan,  all  of  the  county  Cork,  who  have  by 
their  laborious  and  learned  researches  developed  the 
subject  fully,  and  given  a  valuable  amount  of  infor- 
mation regarding  the  construction  and  proper  reading 
of  those  strange  hierograms,  which  reveal  in  some 
degree  the  hidden  sources  of  the  history  of  former 
times.  According  to  Windele,  there  exist  but  seven- 
teen cromlechs  in  the  county  of  Cork  as  yet  dis- 
covered ;  this  being  so,  West  Carbery  can  make  a 
strong  presentment  in  priority  claims,  as  within  that 
barony  the  following  can  be  named,  which  amount 
to  nearly  half  the  entire  number,  viz.  : — Altoir,  near 
Tourmore ;  another  on  the  road  to  Four-Mile- Water, 
Castlehaven  ;  one  near  Bosscarbery,  Coomattollin,  in 
parish  of  Drinagh;  Kilnegross  (near  Clonakilty),  and 
Baltimore,  though  the  last,  the  most  important.  We 
might  also  add  the  cromlech  at  Lisangle. 

The  word  "  cromlech,"  when  translated,  means  the 
sloping  stone,  or  stone  of  Crom,  wl>o  was  the  chief 
divinity  of  Pagan  times;  and  on  this  stone,  which 
formed  the  Druidical  altar,  the  religious  rites  of  the 
Pagans  were  celebrated,  and  the  accompanying  sacri- 
fices were  offered,  either  of  human  victims,  or  of  sheep 
and  cattle ;  the  latter  custom  was  peculiar  to  the 
Irish  Druids,  who,  it  seems,  from  all  accounts,  were 
averse  to  huruan  sacrifices.     They  -were  also  used  as 



Sketches  in  Carbery.  55 

pla33S  "of  interment.  Frequently,  whilst  digging 
beneath  the  enclosed  area,  cinerary  urns  and  human 
bones  belonging  to  a  distant  age  have  been  discovered 
by  the  explorers.  The  ancient  habitations  and  for- 
tresses were  known  under  various  names  besides  the 
rath  or  lis,  already  described,  and  within  whose 
circular  ramparts  wooden  houses  used  to  be  erected, 
where  the  inhabitants  resided,  and  which,  being  of 
a  frail  nature,  could  not  last  for  any  time ;  accord- 
ingly we  find  no  traces  of  them  at  the  present  day. 
The  other  forms  of  habitations  and  fortresses  were 
known  as  duns,  cahirs,  caseals,  aileachs,  cran- 
nogues,  &c,  and  were  all  circular  in  shape,  and  con- 
tinued to  be  raised,  and  occupied  as  dwellings  and 
fortresses  as  late  as  the  end  of  the  l'Jth  century, 
when  they  were  finally  abandoned  and  superseded 
by  the  massive  quadrangular  caisleans  or  castles, 
with  their  frowning  parapets  nnd  rough  ponderous- 
looking  side  walls,  which  still  outlive  the  storm, 
though  fast  tottering  to  decay.  It  is  conjectured 
that  the  Firbolgs,  the  aboriginal  race,  who  are  said 
to  have  come  originally  from  Belgium,  and  were  so 
called  from  the  bolag  or  leathern  bag  they  were 
accustomed  to  carry  over  their  shoulders,  like  a 
modern  pedlar,  were  the  constructors  of  the  subter- 
ranean caverns,  to  which  allusion  has  been  already 
made  If  they  really  occupied  the  caverns  as  dwel- 
ling places,  they  must  have  been  men  of  very  small 
stature.  Relics  of  stone  implements  and  weapons, 
and  layers  of  soot  have  been  frequently  discovered 
within  these  gloomy,  uncomfortable  abodes;  and 
ancient  historical  records  inform  us  that  the  primi- 
tive habitations  of  mankind  consisted  of  rude,  under- 
ground chambers— Homer  and  Virgil,  amongst  other 
writers,  mention  this  fact. 

56  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

The  date  of  their  occupation  must  have  been  so 
■very  remote,  that  our  imperfect  knowledge  on  this 
subject  is  not  to  be  wondered  at.  The  Dun,  which 
means  a  stronghold  or  citadel,  was  occupied  by  the 
kings  and  chieftains,  and  was  of  grander  and  more 
imposing  appearance  than  the  Rath  or  Lis,  which 
was  inhabited  by  the  population  at  large.  The  Dun 
had  a  prominent  mound  in  the  centre,  and  was  sur- 
rounded by  three  earthen  ramparts.  The  Eath 
had  usually  only  two  ramparts,  while  the  tumulus 
had  but  one.  Upon  the  site  of  these  ancient  Duns, 
many  castles  were  subsequently  erected,  the  former 
name  being  in  part  retained,  and  the  locality  deriving 
its  name  from  this  circumstance,  as,  for  instance, 
Dunmore,  Dundeide,  Dooneen,  Dunelong  (ship 
i;astle).  Dun-a-sead  (castle  of  the  jewels),  now  Balti- 
more, &c. 

The  circular  stone  fortresses  were  named  cahirs 
and  caiseals.  They  were  constructed  principally  in 
places  where  large  boulders  of  stone  projected  through 
the  soil,  so  as  to  form  rocky  eminences,  the  masonry  was 
styled  Cyclopean,  and  they  were  surrounded  by  a  cir- 
cular enclosure  of  large  rugged  unhewn  stones,  the 
temporary  buildings  being  raised  in  the  enclosed  area. 
The  parish  of  Cahara  derives  its  name  from  having 
abounded  formerly  in  these  cahirs  or  stone  forts, 
and  the  Rock  of  Cashel  from  having  been  the  site  of 
a  eaiseal  in  the  olden  times.  Dr.  Joyce,  in  his  in- 
teresting and  original  work,  alludes  to  the  strong 
objections  which  has  always  prevailed  among  the 
peasantry,  against  the  tilling  or  occupying  of  those 
ancient  places,  no  matter  whether  the  remains  of 
former  human  abodes,  or  the  monumental  mounds  of 
a  bye-gone  age.  He  says — "  Long  after  the  lisses 
and  raths  had  been  abandoned  as  dwellings,  many 

Sketches  in  Carbenj.  57 

of  them  were  turned  to  different  uses,  and  we  see 
some  of  the  high  duns  and  mounds  crowned  with 
modern  buildings,  such  as  Drogheda,  Naas,  and 
Castletown,  near  Dundalk.  The  peasantry  have 
always  felt  the  greatest  reluctance  to  putting  them 
under  tillage,  and  in  every  part  of  Ireland  you  will 
hear  stories  of  the  calamities  that  befell  the  families 
of  the  foolhardy  farmers  who  outraged  the  fairies' 
dwellings  by  removing  the  earth  or  tilling  the  en- 

This  reluctance  had  its  origin,  not  alone  from  the 
belief  that  the  precincts  were  haunted  by  the  pookas, 
leprecauns,  and  sheevras,  who  might  resent,  in  a  mys- 
terious manner,  any  rude  intrusion  on  their  venerable 
domains,  but  also  from  the  fact  of  their  having  been, 
according  to  tradition,  used  as  cemeteries  in  a  distant 
age,  and  the  natural  disinclination  and  instinctive 
dislike  to  disturb  the  remains  of  the  departed  through 
worldly  motives.  Amongst  the  many  writers  of  the 
present  century  who  have  contributed  most  to  the 
knowledge  of  Irish  archaeology,  language,  and 
general  history,  the  names  of  Petrie,  O'Curry,  and 
O'Donovan  are  most  prominent.  Their  labours  have 
been  supplemented  by  a  host  of  other  writers,  and 
by  their  united  efforts,  deep  research,  and  untirino- 
energy  in  the  field  of  literature,  many  important 
facts  have  been  brought  to  light,  which  were  previously 
buried  in  darkness  and  oblivion,  and  an  interest 
created  amongst  the  general  public  regarding  the 
remarkable  antiquities  and  valuable  records  of  Ire- 
land's early  history  and  ancient  fame. 

A  complete  and  wonderful  change  has  been  effected 
during  the  last  half-century  ia  all  the  social  habits 
and  customs  of  the  people.  The  duellings,  fox- 
huntings,  and  cock-fightings  of  the  good  old  times, 

58  Sketches  in  Curler y. 

the  patterns  and  hurlings,  the  rollicking  fun  and 
humour,  the  merry-makings  at  May,  the  Christmas 
and  Easter  games  and  festivities,  the  fairy  legends, 
the  stories  of  the  Seanachies,  and  the  lilts  of  the 
pipers,  have  passed  off  the  scene  with  the  last  gene- 
ration, and  will,  prohahly,  only  exist  in  the  remem- 
brance of  the  nest.  Many  of  them,  even  now,  merely 
flit  across  our  thoughts,  and  haunt  our  memories 
like  shadows  of  the  past.  Trie  present  go-ahead, 
mechanical,  and  money-making  age  cannot  afford, 
or  is  disinclined,  to  waste  much  time  on  sentiment, 
romance,  or  sportive  pastimes;  hut  "such  is  life,"  as 
Mr.  Billings  sagely  remarks. 

Sir  "William  Wilde,  in  his  charming  little  work 
on  "Irish  Popular  Superstitions,"  written  in  1849, 
remarks  : — "  The  wild  strain  of  aerial  music  which 
floated  round  the  ancient  raths,  and  sung  the  matin 
and  vespers  of  the  shepherd  hoy  are  heard  no  more,  and 
the  romance  of  elfin  life  is  no  longer  recited  to  amuse 
or  warn  the  rising  peasant  generation.     To  the  log- 
house,  hy  the  broad  waters  of  the  Ohio  and  Missis- 
sippi ;   to  the  wild  mountain,  Australian  prairie,  or 
even  to  the   goldeu  soil  of  California,  the   emigrant 
has  carried  the  fairy  lore  of  the  mother  country  ;  so 
that  to   the  charming  descriptions  of  our  country- 
woman, Mrs.  Hall — to  the  traits  and  stories  of  Wil- 
liam Carleton,  the  happy  illustration  of  Irish  manners 
hy  Banim  and    Gerald  Griffin,  the  pencillings    of 
Lady  Chatterton,  or  the  graphic  sketches  of  Caesar 
Otway  andv  Samuel  Lover,  hut,   above   all,  to   the 
Munster  legends  embalmed  by  Croiton  Croker— must 
the  inquirer  after  fairy  lore   refer,  who  would  seek 
for  information  on  subjects  in  Ireland  twenty  years 
to  come." 

And  now,  having  wandered  so  far  from  Carbery's 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  59 

Hundred  Isles,  exploring  the  underground  dwellings 
of  the  Firbolgs,  the  raths  and  duns  of  the  ancient 
chieftains,  and  examining  into  their  history  in  a 
very  superficial  manner ;  it  is  time*  at  length  to  re- 
turn to  the  subject  of  our  discourse,  and  carry  out 
the  original  programme.  It  is  necessary,  in  order 
to  elucidate  the  various  topics  of  interest  which  may 
start  up  as  we  travel  along,  to  branch  off  at  times, 
and  dilate  somewhat  on  collateral  matters,  which 
pertain  more  or  less  to  the  "sketches,"  and  which 
latter,  as  the  name  denotes,  are  necessarily  of  a 
rambling  and  unrestricted  character.  So  now  we 
will  bid  a  last  adieu  to  Sherkin,  and  crossing  the 
stormy  waters  of  the  Gascon  ane  Sound,  land  on  Cape 
Clear,  and  study  some  of  the  interesting  features, 
historic  and  otherwise,  connected  with  that  island. 
Cape  Clear,  the  Insula  Sancta  Clarae  of  a  former 
period,  is  the  most  remarkable  island  on  the  whole 
Irish  coast,  and  the  most  prominent  landmark  of 
"Western  Europe  for  the  mariner,  as  he  steers  his 
course  to  and  fro  across  the  wide  expanse  of  that 
ocean  which  rolls  in  mighty  and  majestic  waves  be- 
tween the  two  hemispheres,  and  which  is  familiarly 
known,  in  the  peculiar  parlance  of  Brother  Jonathan 
at  the  present  time,  as  "The  Great  American  Ferry." 


GO  Sketches  in  Ccirbery, 


Cape  Clear  (Insula  Sanctae  Clarae)— The  Gasconane  Sound — Captain 
Boston's  daring  swim  through  the  Gasconane  (1875)  from  the 
American  packet — Lands  at  Trafraska  Bay,  near  Baltimore — 
General  view  of  the  island,  size,  population,  scenery — Carbery's 
Hundred  Isles  surround  us — Curious  separation  of  Inisfadda 
(Long  Island  near  Skull)  into  three  distinct  portions  by  a  thunder- 
storm in  the  9th  century— Sherkin  and  Cape  Clear  most  probably 
united  to  the  mainland  as  a  promontory  in  remote  ages — The 
Fisheries  of  Cape,  climate,  longevity,  great  physical  strength  and 
egdurance  of  the  inhabitants — Smith  and  Lewis's  favourable  opinion 
of  them— Distress  in  Cape  during  1862 — Father  Leader's  noble 
exertions  on  behalf  of  the  poor  people — Eeview  of  Father 
O'Eourke's  work  on  the  Irish  Famine  of  1847 — Benevolence  of 
Baroness  Burdett  Coutts  towards  the  islanders. 

Sherkin  and  Cape  Clear  are  divided  by  a  strait 
about  two  miles  wide.  A  short  distance  from  the 
southern  extremity  of  Sherkin  a  rocky  islet  projects 
above  the  water,  styled  Carrigmore ;  between  both 
is  the  Eastern  Sound,  in  which  there  are  eighteen 
fathoms  of  water.  Ships  seldom  venture  to  steer 
through  the  channel  owing  to  the  difficulty,  especially 
with  a  south-east  wind,  of  weathering  in  safety  Slea- 
more Point;  however  during  the  terrible  gale,  amount- 
ing almost  to  a  hurricane,  which  occurred  on  the  11th 
Eebruary,  1874,  a  Greek  -barque,  driven  near  the 
shore  by  stress  of  weather,  dashed  at  headlong  speed 
through  this  narrow  and  dangerous  passage,  and,  ■ 
after  a  hair-breadth  escape  from  total  destruction, 
reached  the  friendly  anchorage  of  Whitehall  Sound 
in  safety. 

Sketches  in  Carboy.  61 

About  two-thirds  across  the  strait  is  the  well- 
known  Graseonane  Rock,  between  which  and  Carrig- 
more  is  the  Middle  Sound,  and  between  the  Graseonane 
and  Cape  Clear  is  the  Graseonane  Sound,  through 
which  coasting  vessels  are  sometimes  piloted,  though 
as  a  rule  they  avoid  this  dangerous  place,  and  keep 
well  to  the  south  of  the  Fastnett.  In  both  channels 
there  are  twenty  fathoms  of  water.  The  name  of 
the  Graseonane  is  familiar  to  us  with  stormy  weather 
and  agitated  waves;  the  very  translation  of  the  name 
clearly  indicates  this  fact,  as  it  means  petulant  or 
saucy.  In  the  neighbourhood  of  the  rock,  which  is 
nearly  covered  at  all  times  by  water,  the  counter 
currents,  and  the  rapid  sweeping  tide  rushing  fiercely 
through  a  narrow  channel,  and  the  strong  gales, 
which  blow  often  in  opposition  to  the  direction  of 
the  tidal  waters,  combine  to  stir  up  an  angry  sea 
with  crested  billows  and  heavy  swells,  where  few 
boats  or  hookers  could  row  or  sail  with  any  safety. 

A  short  time  ago  the  celebrated  Captain  Paul  Boy  ton, 
the  American,whose  daring  feats  with  the  life  apparatus 
have  been  chronicled  in  all  the  daily  papers,  equipped 
in  his  extraordinary  costume,  dufing  a  stormy  night, 
swam  ashore  from  one  of  the  American  mail  packets, 
close  to  the  Gasconane,  a  distance  of  about  twenty 
miles,  and  landed  safely  at  Trafraska  bay,  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Baltimore.  This  is  one  of  the 
most  remarkable  feats  of  personal  daring  achieved 
during  the  present  century  ;  the  sea  running  moun- 
tains high  at  the  time,  and  so  rough  that  no  boat 
could  possibly  escape  being  swamped;  however  the 
gallant  captain,  with  "his  boat  upon  his  back,  and 
paddling  his  own  canoe,"  as  he  quaintly  and  forcibly 
described  his  own  position,  when  about  six  miles  off 
the  Fastnett,  launched  himself  into  the  treacherous 


62  ohe/r},c$  In  Carberi/i 

deep,  and,  after  seven  hours'  most  adventurous  and 
sensational  paddling,  not  only  reached  terra-firmar 
hut  lived  to  have  his  name  recorded  amongst  the 
wonderful  men  of  the  age. 

Having  crossed  the  Gxasconane,  we  can  land  at 
Cape  Clear,  either  at  the  east  end,  which  is  most 
convenient  in  fine  weather,  or  at  the  north  or  south 
harbour,  according  to  the  state  of  the  wind.  Many 
points  of  interest  immediately  engage  our  attention. 
The  scenery  of  the  island,  the  beautiful  sea  views, 
the  physique,  customs,  and  manners  of  the  natives, 
and  their  former  history,  the  account  of  the  celebrated 
St.  Kieran,  and  the  ancient  relics  which  still  present 
themselves  so  prominently  before  us,  all  these,  col- 
lectively and  individually,  are  worthy  of  record  and 
entitled  to  a  place  in  our  narrative. 

Cape  Clear,  the  Iiisu 'la  So  net  a  Clara  of  Ecclesiastical 
Records,  and  also  styled  by  Keating,  and  in  old  Irish 
MSS.,  Inis  Damhhj,  has  always  been  regarded,  as  its 
name  would  denote,  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
islands  upon  the  whole  Irish  coast.  Its  importance,  in 
a  geographical  point  of  view,  is  evident  from  the  fact 
that  in  all  the  large  maps  of  the  world,  where  Ireland 
appears  as  a  comparatively  small  spot,  the  three 
prominent  points  of  the  island  named  are  Dublin, 
the  Shannon,  and  Cape  Clear.  It  runs  in  a  direction 
nearly  east  and  west  about  three  miles,  and  is  a  mile 
and  a  half  in  breadth  at  the  widest  part.  Between 
the  north  and  soutli  harbours,  however,  a  very  narrow 
neck  of  land  intervenes,  and,  at  a  distance,  it  would 
almost  seem  as  if  there  were  two  distinct  islands 
separated  by  a  narrow  strait.  There  are  17  town- 
lands  and  1400  acres,  of  which  from  two  to  three 
hundred  are  arable,  the  remainder  being  devoted  to 
pasture.     The  soil  is  shallow,  and  on  the  south  side 

Sketches  in  Carucry.  63 

of  the  island,  -which  is  exposed  to  the  Atlantic  gales, 
the  cliffs  attain  their  highest  altitude,  and  the  surface 
here  is  rocky  and  unproductive.  Previous  to  the 
year  1848  the  island  was  divided  into  137  small 
farms  of  five  acres  each.  The  population  was  formerly 
large,  but  has  sensibly  decreased,  as  is  evident  from 
the  fact,  that  a  century  ago,  according  to  Smith, 
there  were  up  to  2,000  inhabitants.  The  census  of 
1831,  according  to  Lewis,  showed  about  the  same 
number.  Living  exclusively  to  themselves,  and 
having  little  intercourse  with  the  mainland,  it  seems 
strange,  however,  that  the  population  should  not 
have  increased  to  such  an  extent  as  to  necessitate 
emigration  from  the  island,  especially  the  climate 
being  so  healthy.  We  must  leave  the  explanation 
of  this  fact  to  ethnologists  and  political  economists. 

Since  the  famine  years  a  marked  decrease  in  the 
population  has  occurred.  The  north  side  of  the 
island,  which  looks  inland,  slopes  somewhat  gradually 
towards  the  sea.  As  we  ramble  along,  observing  the 
various  points  of  interest,  we  obtain  some  fine  views 
of  the  adjoining  coast.  The  hundred  isles  of  Carbery 
are  seen,  the  entire  cluster  dotting  the  surface  of 
Koaring  Water  Bay  (Lough  Trasnagh),  a  very  tur- 
bulent expanse  of  water,  too,  during  the  prevalence 
of  a  south-east  or  southerly  gale.  The  names  of  the 
islands  are  familiar  to  our  readers,  such  as  the 
Skeames,  (St.  Keani's),  Hare  Island,  (Inish  O'Dris- 
coll),  the  Three  Calves,  so  called  on  the  lucus  a  non- 
lueendo  principle,  because  they  raise  no  cattle  there, 
whilst  there  are  no  hares  on  Hare  Island.  M'Carthy 's 
Island,  in  the  distance,  celebrated  for  a  peculiar  growth 
of  grass,  which,  owing  to  some  special  virtue  in  the 
soil,  and  the  enriching  powers  of  the  salt  water  sprav, 
is  said  to  be  almost  capable  of  curing  and  fattening 

§4  Sketches  in  C<trLcr\j. 

a  broken  winded  coach-horse.  Adjoining  the  coast 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Skull,  we  observe  Horse 
Island,  Castle  Island,  and  Long  Island,  in  the  same 
line  and  separated  from  each  other  bj  a  narrow 

Smith,  in  his  "  History  of  Cork,"  when  describing 
the  remarkable  events  which  have  occurred  from  time 
to  time,  gives  us  the  following  strange  account  con- 
nected with  these  three  islands : — "  In  the  latter  end  of 
March,  A.  D.  830,  Hugh  Domdighe,  being  monarch 
of  Ireland,  there  happened  such  terrible  shocks  of 
thunder  and  lightning,  that  above  1,000  persons 
were  destroyed  by  it  between  Corca  Bascoine  (a  part 
of  this  country  then  so  called)  and  the  sea-side.  At 
the  same  time  the  sea  broke  through  the  bank?  in  a 
most  violent  manner,  and  overflowed  a  considerable 
tract  of  land.  The  island,  then  called  Innisfadda 
(Long  Island),  on  the  west  coast  of  this  county 
(Keating  p.  52,  also  an  old  Irish  MS.),  was  forced 
asunder,  and  divided  into  three  parts.  This  island 
lies  contiguous  to  two  others — namely,  Horse  Island 
and  Castle  Island,  which,  lying  in  a  range  and  being 
low  ground,  might  have  been  very  probably  then" 
rent  by  the  ocean." 

Suchjstrange  natural  phenomena,  as  the  separation 
of  portions  of  the  mainland,  which  then  become 
islands,  by  the  action  of  the  waves,  and  the  gradual 
or  sudden  elevation  and  depression  of  the  bed  of  the 
sea,  by  the  agency  of  subterranean  causes,  are  re- 
corded in  most  works  on  physical  geography.  Ac- 
cording to  tradition,  the  present  channel  between 
the  Isle  of  Wight  and  Portsmouth,  where  line  of 
battle  ships  can  at  present  pass  in  safety,  was  in  re- 
mote times  so  shallow  as  to  allow  of  being  safely 
forded  at  low  tide.     The  Scilly  islands,  off  Cornwall, 

Sketches  in  Garbery.  65 

when  known  to  the  Phoenicians  under  the  name  of 
the  Cassiterides  (tin  islands),  were  almost  entirely 
united.  In  the  Welsh  Triads  an  account  is  given 
of  the  separation  of  Anglesea  from  the  mainland  by 
natural  causes.  It  is  not  improbable,  reasoning  from 
analogy,  and  taking  into  account  the  peculiar  con- 
formation of  Sherkin  and  Cape  Clear,  the  great  ele- 
vation of  the  land,  the  similar  direction  of  the  coast 
line,  and  the  very  narrow  intervals  which  separate 
them.  from,  each  other,  and  the  mainland,  that  they 
may  have  originally  projected  into  the  sea  as  an  un- 
broken promontory,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  Mizen" 
Head,  and  been  gradually  converted  into  islands 
by  .the  constant  action  of  the  waves,  or  some; 
violent  convulsion  of  nature.*  In  ancient  manu- 
scripts it  is  a  noteworthy  fact  that  Cape  Clear  is 
always  referred  to  as  a  promontory  of  Corca 

The  ele/ated  portions  of  Cape  Clear  are  of  the 
schistose  or  slate  formation  (Cambrian  system).  In 
fact  throughout  the  entire  of  Carbery  such  is  the 
character  of  the  geological  strata.  On  the  lower 
ground,  near  the  sea-shore,  good  freestone  abounds, 
which  was  much  used  at  one  time  in  ornamental 
building.  .  Between  south  harbour  and  the  western 
extremity  of  the  island  the  scenery  is  very  wild  and 
romantic,  and  the  cliffs  steep  and  inaccessible,  pre- 
senting a  bold  front  to  the  furies  of  the  wild  Atlantic, 
which,  in  the  winter  months,  is  often  lashed  into 
mountain  waves  by  the  violent  storms,  which  are 
prevalent  at  such  periods  on  the  exposed  part  of  the 

*The  theory  brought  forward  heve  has  been  dwelt  uron,  and 
argued  as  a  very  probable  occurrence,  in  the  article  on  Geology  by 
Mr.  Close,  M.  B.  I.  A.,  in  Miss  Cusack's  recent  work,  "History  of 
the  County  of  Cork." 


66  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

coast.  And  in  this  we  observe  one  of  those  wonder- 
ful and  beautiful  provisions  of  nature :  for  here, 
where  the  waves  roll  in  from  the  ocean  in  such, 
colossal  proportions,  and  beat  with  redoubled  force 
and  fiercest  energy  against  the  shore,  the  rugged 
cliffs  tower  high  aloft,  and  prove  an  effectual  barrier 
against  the  encroachment  of  the  sea,  which  would 
otherwise  sweep  unrestrained  over  the  island,  and 
destroy  nearly  all  traces  of  animal  and  vegetable 

North  Harbour  or  Tra-Kieran,  its  more  ancient 
name,  will  first  engage  our  attention.  It  faces 
Roaring  Water  Bay,  and  is  a  small  open  space  of 
water,  sheltered  well  on  the  land  side  from  the 
east  by  high  cliffs,  which  protect  it  effectually  from 
the  S.  E.  wind.  Here  upon  the  beach  we  observe 
the  boats  and  hookers  of  the  islanders  hauled  up 
beyond  the  reach  of  the  tide.  There  is  an  inner 
basin,  which  has  been  enclosed  by  a  pier,  but  as  the 
water  is  very  shoal  in  this  little  basin,  only  three  or 
four  feet  at  low  tide,  the  hookers  and  pilot  boats 
cannot  be  moored  there  with  any  safety.  Accord- 
ingly the  fishermen  are  compelled  during  the  winter 
rfbnths,  whilst  the  fishing  operations  are  suspended, 
either  to  sink  their  craft,  or  haul  them  high  up  on 
the  beach.  This  is  a  work  of  great  labour,  and  one 
also  attended  with  much  inconvenience,  difficulty, 
and  loss  of  time,  requiring  the  work  of  many  hands 
for  its  accomplishment. 

Within  the  last  year,  Mr.  Blake,  Commissioner 
of  Fisheries,  visited  Cape  Clear  to  investigate  the 
state  of  the  fisheries,  and  to  determine  the  necessity 
of  deepening  the  inner  basin  ;  and  it  is  very  probable 
that  in  a  short  time  the  necessary  steps  will  be  taken 
to  increase  the  depth  of  water,  so  as  to  allow  of  small 

Sketches  in  Garhery.  67 

Vessels  Healing  there  in  safety.  How  great  a  boon 
this  would  prove  to  the  islanders  can  he  well  imagined ; 
For  when  returning  from  their  fishing  expeditions, 
instead  of  being  compelled  to  seek  the  shelter  during 
stormy  weather  of  the  neighbouring  harbours  along 
the  main  shore,  a  proceeding  attended  with  consider- 
able loss  of  time  and  money,  they  would  be  in  future 
able  to  steer  at  once  towards  the  island,  and  anchor 
with  safety  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  their  own 
homes.  It  is  needless  to  dwell,  therefore,  on  the 
wonderfully  good  effects  which  would  result ;  and  who 
is  there  that  does  not  sympathise  with,  and  take  an 
interest  in  the  welfare  of  these  industrious  and  brave 
hardy  "  toilers  of  the  deep,"  who,  tossed  about  in  all 
weathers  upon  the  wild  waters  far  out  to  sea,  exposed 
to  cold  and  hardship,  and  often  even  to  great  danger 
of  death,  struggle  manfully  against  all  odds  to  sup- 
port themselves,  and  their  numerous  families,  depen- 
dent on  them  for  their  very  existence. 

The  cause  of  the  islanders  has  been  ably  advocated 
by  the  BefT  D.  M'Cartie,  C.  C,  and  J.  O'Leary,  C.  C, 
and  it  is  chiefly  owing  to  their  philanthropic  and  praise- 
worthy exertions  that  the  present  movement  has  been 
originated,  one  which,  if  successful,  as  it  promises  to 
be,  will  confer  incalculable  advantages  on  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Cape  Clear.  "We  have  been  informed,  on 
good  authority,  that  the  landlord,  Sir  Henry  W. 
Becher,  has  kindly  volunteered  to  pay  the  local  con- 
tribution himself  which  is  required  to  supplement 
the  Government  allowance  from  the  Board  of  Works 
in  order  to  complete  this  most  useful  project,  so  that 
the  people  of  Cape  will  not  be  obliged  to  defray  any 
of  the  expenses.  As  the  prosperity  and  comfort  of 
the  islanders  depend  almost  entirely  on  the  success 
of  the  fisheries,  from  which  they  derive  their  chief 


£)8  Sketches  in  Oarberj/. 

support,  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  this  indispensable 
measure,  the  deepening  of  the  inner  basin  in  North 
Harbour,  will  be  soon  accomplished  ;  by  such  means 
this  important  branch  of  industry  would  revive 
again,  and  emerge  rapidly  from  its  present  stagnant 
condition.  We  can  well  imagine  its  depressed  state 
and  decadence  at  Cape  (the  same  remark  applies,  in 
a  great  measure,  to  all  the  coast  fisheries),  when  we 
consider  that,  in  former  years,  about  a  quarter  of  a 
century  ago,  eighteen  island  hookers  were  daily 
employed  at  fishing,  the  number  is  now  reduced  to 
five  or  six. 

In  ancient  times,  when  Spain  was  more  flourish- 
ing than   she  is  at  present,  the  Spanish  fishermen 
frequented  the  vicinity  of  Cape  and  Baltimore  in 
great  numbers,  and  used  to  reside  upon  the  island 
occasionally.     A  neighbouring  portion  of  the  main- 
land,  near  Baltimore,  owing  to  this  circumstance, 
still  retains  the  name   of  Spain,     During  the  last 
century  the  I^psale  fishermen  also  were  in  the  habit 
of  building  huts  in  Cape,  during  the  fishing  season, 
where   they  cured  the  fish.     During   the   summer 
months  the  native  fishermen  man  their  hookers  and 
boats,   and  -nearly  all  the   adult  population  weigh 
anchor    every  Monday    or   Tuesday  morning,    and 
proceed  far  out  to  sea— the  hookers  steering  for  the 
Durseys,  and  the  open  boats  for  the  neighbourhood 
of  the   Fastnett.     Sometimes,    in   pursuit   of  their 
calling,  they  go  thirty  leagues  off  the  land;   they 
remain  out  during  the  week,  and  return  on  Friday 
or  Saturday  with  their  cargoes  of  hake,  ling,  cod- 
fish, congers,  and  other  deep  sea-fish  on  board,  then 
they  anchor  near  St.  Kieran's  strand,  and  soon  the 
beach  is  covered  with  the  captured  spoil  of  the  finny 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  69 

The  scene  which  ensues  is  most  interesting  and 
exciting ;  all  the  female  population  rush  to  the  beach, 
attended  by  the  "  gorsoons,"  and  soon  the  fish  are 
packed  in  baskets,  which  they  swing  upon  their 
shoulders  with  the  greatest  ease,  and  carry  away  up 
the  steep  and  slippery  pathways  of  the  island.  The 
women  are  engaged  then  in  curing  the  fish,  a  process 
which  is  accomplished  with  great  skill ;  and  the  men 
rest  for  a  couple  of  days  to  recruit  themselves  for 
further  expeditions  out  to  sea.  As  the  agricultural 
produce  of  the  island  is  comparatively  small,  chiefly 
oats  and  potatoes,  and  as  all  fuel  must  be  brought 
from  the  mainland,  there  being  no  trees  or  turf  on 
the  soil,  it  is  evident  that  not  alone  their  welfare 
but  also  their  principal  means  of  procuring  a  liveli- 
hood depend  on  the  success  of  the  fisheries.  The 
chief  time  of  the  year  for  disposing  of  the  cured  fish 
is  at  Christmas,  when  very  large  quantities- are  sold, 
especially  in  the  town  o£  Skibbereen. 

Owing  to  the  active  and  industrious  life  which  the 
Capers  lead,  their  steady  and  temperate  habits, 
the  sanitary  influence  of  a  mild  and  wholesome 
climate,  and  an  almost  constant  residence  on  the 
ocean  wave,  they  are  exceptionally  free  from  disease, 
and  seldom  die  except  from  the  effects  of  old  age.  In 
the  summer  months  the  air  is  balmy  and  refreshing, 
largely  impregnated  with  the  ozone,  which  has  such 
a  purifying  influence  on  the  atmosphere.  We  may 
therefore  consider  Cape  at  this  season  as  a  regular 
sanatorium.  We  may  safely  say  that  it  should  be 
therefore  rightly  outside  the  pale  of  the  Sanitary 
Act.  Some  of  the  inhabitants  attain  to  a  very  old 
age ;  they  are  generally  of  large  stature,  robust, 
capable  of  enduring  great  fatigue,  and  very  mus- 
cular  and   strong ;    they    certainly   as   a   rule   ai§ 

S  ketches  in  Carbery. 

built  in  a  larger  mould  than  the  inhabitants  of  the 

Formerly  one  or  two  families  in  the  island 
(O'Driscolls)  were  celebrated  for  their  gigantic 
stature,  one  celebrated  specimen  in  particular,  wbo 
flourished  about  a  hundred  years  ago,  named  Cruathir 
(Cornelius)  O'Cadogan,  sobriquet  for  O'Driscoll. 
He  was  a  man  of  immense  proportions,  and  his  cele- 
brated feats  of  strength  are  still  recited  at  times  upon 
the  island.  "We  will  refer  to  this  giant  again  in 
connection  with  Tra-Kieran.  Dr.  Smith,  who  visited ' 
Cape,  a  little  over  a  century  ago,  pays  a  very  high 
compliment  to  the  Capers.  He  says  :  "  The  natives 
pay  their  reut  by  fish ;  when  a  bad  season  comes  they 
fall  in  arrears,  but  very  honestly  clear  them  off  when 
fish  returns  ;  they  are  strong  and  healthy,  die  chiefly 
of  old  age,  owing  to  temperate  habits  ;  brandy  drink- 
ing being  the  only  debauch  (I  suppose  he  must  mean 
when  a  stray  keg  of  brandy  drifts  in  from  a  wreck 
near  the  island,  a  rare  event)  ;  they  are  kind  to  each 
other,  courteous  to  strangers,  and  excellent  pilots." 

Lewis  remarks  that  "  the  men  are  expert  and  reso- 
lute seamen,  and  the  best  pilots  on  the  coast ;  they 
are  remarkable  for  discerning  land  at  a  distance  in 
snowy  or  foggy  weather,  possess  an  uncommon 
sagacity  in  discovering  the  approach  of  bad  weather, 
and  are  exceedingly  skilful  in  the  management  of 
their  vessels." 

At  the  eastern  end  of  Cape  Clear  there  is  a  shelv- 
ing strand  called  File-Cooagh,*  which,  from  being 
the  most  adjacent  point  of  debarkation  from  the 
mainland,  has  been  used  by  the  inhabitants  as  a 
convenient  site  where  they  may  haul  up  their  boats. 

*  The  Cliff  of  the  Cuckoo. 

Sketches  in  Citrbery.  71 

A  deep  cutting  has  been  made  in  the  side  of  the  cliff, 
near  the  strand,  and  up  this  precipitous  incline  the 
stalwart  boatmen  pull  their  heavy  six-oared  boats, 
displaying  wonderful  strength  in  its  accomplishment. 
Occasionally,  however,  during  very  heavy  weather, 
the  sea  has  on  one  or  two  occasions  encroached,  and 
swept  away  some  of  the  boats.  Here  the  post-boat, 
presented  by  Sir  Robert  Peel,  used  to  land,  but,  un- 
fortunately, during  a  severe  gale  some  years  ago, 
it  was  washed  away,  and  since  that  time  its  place 
has  not  been  supplied,  a  cause  of  great  inconvenience 
in  the  postal  arrangements  of  the  island.  By  means 
of  some  additional  labour,  and  with  very  little  cost, 
it  would  be  possible  to  complete  the  useful  work 
begun,  but  not  accomplished,  of  lowering  the  level 
and  increasing  the  breadth  of  the  present  cutting, 
which  would  then  be  a  convenient  and  safe  dry- 
dock  for  the  open  boats,  so  indispensable  to  the 

My  allusion  to  the  post-boat,  called  after  Lady 
Peel,  awakes  at  once  the  memory  of  the  name  of  the 
respected  and  much  lamented  pastor,  whose  untiring 
energies  and  deep  devotion  to  the  interests  of  the 
inhabitants  of  Cape  Clear,  during  a  most  eventful 
period  in  the  history  of  that  island,  ought  to  be  re- 
corded with  honourable  and  well-deserved  mention. 
In  the  year  1862,  Cape  Clear  suffered  severely  from 
destitution .  Failure  in  the  potato  crop,  a  bad  harvest, 
a  scarcity  of  fish,  and  a  general  depression  of  trade 
throughout  the  country — all  combined  to  weigh 
heavily  upon  the  poor  fishermen,  and  in  spite  of 
their  best  efforts  to  struggle  against  the  tide  of  ad- 
versity, they  would  have  been  borne  down,  and 
swamped  by  the  accumulation  of  misfortune  and 
misery  which  threatened  them?  and  which  they  were 


Sketches  in  Carbery. 


quite  unable,  under  the  circumstances,  to  contend 

Happily  for  themselves,  at  this  desperate  crisis, 
they  had  as  their  parish-priest  the  late  Rev. 
H.  Leader,  a  gentleman  whose  generous  and 
noble  exertions  in  the  cause  of  suffering  huma- 
nity were  rewarded  in  a  great  measure  by  suc- 
cess, and  whose  kind  philanthropy  and  active 
advocacy  of  their  cause  helped  to  ward  off  famine, 
misery,  and  death  from  many  a  homestead,  which 
would  otherwise  be  desolate  and  deserted.  Influenced 
by  the  necessity  of  the  moment,  he  determined  on 
proceeding  at  once  to  England  to  lay  the  real  state 
of  the  case  before  the  Government,  and  contrived  to 
have  a  personal  interview  with  Earl  Russell  and 
Lord  Palmerston,  who  were  then  in  power,  and  who 
were  so  impressed  with  the  truth  of  his  statements, 
and  so  convinced  of  the  fact — tha#  a  famine  was 
impending  over  the  island— that  they  not  only  gave 
an  audience  to  the  reverend  petitioner,  but  also  con- 
tributed personally  by  charitable  subscriptions  to 
relieve  the  distress.  They  also  drew  the  attention 
of  Sir  Robert  Peel,  then  Secretary  for  Ireland,  to 
the  matter. 

Sir  Robert  Peel,  in  company  with  Father  Leader, 
visited  Cape.  The  former  presented  a  donation  of 
his  own  accord,  and  also  established  a  postal  com- 
munication between  the  island  and  the  main  shore. 
At  the  same  time  a  plan  was  originated  for  securing 
South  Harbour  by  means  of  a  break-water  against 
the  S.  E.  gale.  This  necessary  work  was  not  how- 
ever completed,  as  the  cost  of  its  construction,  £5,000, 
was  considered  too  expensive  by  the  Commissioners 
of  Fisheries.  At  the  same  time  it  would  have  been 
p,  great  advantage  by  giving  employment  to   the 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  7.3 

inhabitants,  and  thereby  relieving  their  immediate 
wants  by  the  wages  which  would  have  accrued,  and 
also  a  permanent  benefit  by  securing  for  them  a 
sheltered  and  commodious  harbour,  where  they  could 
safely  anchor  their  pilot  boats  and  hookers. 

Nevertheless,  the  Rev.  H.  Leader  no  way  abated 
'  in  his  praiseworthy  ardour.  Several  families,  assisted 
by  sums  of  money  which  he  collected  from  charitable 
sources,  emigrated  to  Canada  and  the  United  States. 
The  most  munificent  patroness  at  the  time  was  Lady 
Coutts,  who  has  been  always  so  distinguished  by  her 
liberal  and  benevolent  contributions  to  charitable 
undertakings.  This  lady  subscribed  a  large  sum  of 
money  to  relieve  the  wants  of  the  islanders,  and  has 
always,  at  subsequent  periods,  been  most  prominent 
in  her  response  to  everything  connected  with  the 
material  welfare  of  the  poor  people  of  Cape.  It  is 
unnecessary  to  dilate  at  furtber  length  on  the 
good  works  of  the  Rev.  H.  Leader,  and  his  many 
amiable  and  genial  traits  of  character ;  they  are  em- , 
balmed  in  the  memory,  and  deeply  engraved  in  the 
hearts  of  the  present  generation  of  Carbery.  His 
was  a  character  deservedly  admired,,  not  alone  for 
his  frank,  manly  bearing,  kindness,  of  heart,  and 
social,  hospitable  disposition  of  the  highest  order, 
but  chiefly  for  the  heroic  and  unselfish  manner  in 
whichj  on  the  eve  of  a  great  public  calamity  in  Cape 
Clear,  he  boldly  anticipated  the  evil,  and  helped  to 
mitigate  the  sufferings  of  the  poor  people  entrusted 
to  his  pastoral  care.  Such  conduct  won  for  him  the 
lasting  respect,  still  shown  to  his  memory,  of  all 
creeds  and  classes  of  the  community — 

"  This  passing  tribute  we  must  offer  to  his  name, 
Which  speaks  but  feebly  of  his  worth  and  fame,"  . 

74  Sketches  in  Carhenj. 

About  two  years  ago  the  Eev.  J.  O'Rourke,  * 
P.  P.,  M-  R.  I.  A.,  paid  a  visit  to  Cape  Clear,  whilst 
on  a  tour  through  Ireland  in  search  of  information 
concerning  the  great  Irish  Famine  of  1847,  and  in 
the  work  which  has  recently  issued  from  his  pen 
upon  that  subject,  he  has  alluded  at  full  length  to 
this  part  of  the  country  in  connection  with  the  narra- 
tive of  what  he  truly  describes  as  "  one  of  the  most 
terrible  episodes  in  the  chequered  history  of  our 
native  land."  However  melancholy  the  subject  may 
be,  it  is  one  which  must  engage  the  attention  and 
Bad  interest  of  the  historian,  statesman,  and  political 
economist,  whilst  studying  and  investigating  into 
the  causes  of  that  terrible  catastrophe  fits  desolating 
effects,  and  the  remedies  suggested,  adopted,  and 
neglected  in  grappling  with  a  climax  of  misery  and 
misfortune  amongst  a  suffering  people,  perhaps  un- 
paralleled in  the  history  of  any  country. 

The  author's  work,  which  has  been  recently  pub- 
lished by  Messrs.  M'Grlashan  and  Gill,  and  J.  Duffy 
and  Sons,  of  Dublin,  in  a  handsome  volume  of  550 
pages,  refleots  much  credit  on  the  writer.  It  is  the 
production  of  several  years'  study  and  laborious  re- 
search, necessitating  the  closest  reading,  and  an 
accurate  intimacy  with  the  all-important  documents, 
state-papers,  &c,  of  the  period.  Moreover,  he  has 
supplied  a  fund  of  information,  the  result  of  personal 
interview^,  with  prominent  persons,  who  had  been 
actively  engaged  on  relief-committees,  and  as  corre- 
spondents for  the  press  during  that  disastrous-period. 
All  the  subject  matter  is  skilfully  arranged,  and  the 
various  important  extracts  ably  commented  upon. 
We  might  add  that  it  is  the  first  complete  work 
which  hasyet  been  written  upon  "  The  Irish  Famine," 
and  one  which  records,  in  truthful  and  impressive 

Sketches  in  Carboy.  75 

language,  every  circumstance  connected  with  that 
terrible  event.  The  style  is  graphic,  lucid,  and  con- 
cise ;  the  arguments  logical  and  forcible,  whilst  some 
of  the  passages  are  marked  by  an  elegance  of  diction 
and  a  simple  unaffected  eloquence  which  immediately 
command  our  attention  and  appeal  strongly  to  the 
noblest  emotions  of  the  mind. 

A  large  portion  of  the  work  is  devoted  to  an  account 
of  the  sufferings  from  want  in  Skibbereen  and  the 
surrounding  country,  more  especially  as  it  was  in 
our  own  neighbourhood  the  vortex  of  the  storm  pre- 
vailed that  swept  over  the  land,  which  it  wrapped 
in  the  shadow  of  death,  leaving  more  wrecks  of 
humanity  in  its  wake  than  the  typhoons  of  China 
or  the  hurricanes  of  the  West  Indies.  The  "  History 
of  the  Famine  of  1847,"  by  the  Eev.  J.  O'Eourke, 
is  a  work  which  is  well  worthy  of  perusal,  and  the 
writer  has  condensed  his  extensive  information,  and 
arranged  all  his  sentences  and  paragraphs  in  so 
complete,  intelligible,  and  interesting  a  manner  that 
the  most  inattentive  reader  cannot  fail  to  be  con- 
vinced of  the  ability,  erudition,  and  patient  research 
of  the  writer,  who  seems  to  have  adopted  the  follow- 
ing motto  throughout — "Nothing  shall  I  extenuate, 
nor  set  down  aught  in  malice."  The  earlier  por- 
tions of  the  volume  are  devoted  to  a  brief  history  of 
previous  famines  in  Ireland,  and  an  account  of  the 
ravages  of  the  ^potato  blight  of  1845.  Allusion  is 
made  to  the  plan  proposed  by  the  great  O'Connell 
for  dealing  with  the  impending  famine,  which  plan 
was,  in  reality — had  it  been  adopted — the  only  far- 
seeing,  wise,  precautionary,  and  statesmanlike  mea- 
sure which  could  have  warded  off  famine  and  death 
from  thousands  of  the  people. 

The  Liberator's  proposal,  brought  forward  on  the 

76  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

28th  October,  1845,  at  a  meeting  of  the  Dublin 
Corporation,  was :  "  1st,  The  immediate  stoppage  of 
distillation  and  brewing;  the  prohibition  of  exports 
of  all  kind  of  provisions  to  foreign  counti-ies  ;  and 
the  free  opening  of  our  own  ports  for -provisions 
from  other  countries.  In  addition,  the  immediate 
purchase  of  pro  zisions  by  Government  for  the  starv- 
ing poor,  by  a  sum  of  one  million,  raised  by  neces- 
sary taxation,  &c-  Unfortunately,  no  heed  was 
given  to  the  proposal.  Time,  more  precious  than 
money,  was  heedlessly  wasted  in  useless  committees 
and  superfluous  scientific  investigations.  In  count- 
less instances  the  relief  came  afterwards  when  it  wa3 
too  late.  The  vital  spark  was  extinct,  and  could 
not  be  fanned  back  into  a  flame.  The  disease  might 
have  been  anticipated,  but  could  not  be  cured,  and 
the  gaunt  spectres  of  famine  and  disease  were  allowed 
to  stalk  over  the  land,  mowing  down  with  relentless 
scythe  their  hecatombs  of  victims ;  sparing  no  age 
nor  sex,  neither  the  robust  and  stalwart  peasant  in 
the  prime  of  maDhood,  the  babe  at  the  mother's 
breast,  nor  the  old  man  tottering  to  the  grave.*  We 
select  the  following  very  beautiful  passage  from 
Father  O'Eourke's  book,  which  refers  to  his  visit  to 
Abbeystrowry.  It  is  one  of  fine  descriptive  power, 
written  in  a  strain  of  unaffected  and  truly  pathetic 
eloquence,  and  a  graceful  simplicity  of  style,  which 
must  at  once  engage  the  attention  of  the  reader,  and 
satisfy  the  most  critical  observer.  Suffice  it  to  say, 
in  conclusion,  that  the  rest  of  the  work  is  sustained 
with  equal  ability. 

*  Many  very  noble  examples  of  private  benevolence,  generosity, 
and  of  self-sacrificing  zeal  were  displayed  by  persons  of  all  creeds 
and  classes  throughout  Great  Britain,  Ireland,  and  America  during 
this  terrible  catastrophe. 


-    » 

Sketches  in  Carhery. 

•  i 


"  Some  twenty  years  after  the  famine-scourge  had  passed  away, 
and  oyer  two  millions  of  the  Irish  people  with  it,  I  visited  Skibbe- 
reen.  Approaching  the  town  from  the  (.  ork  side  it  looks  rather  an 
important  place.  It  is  the  seat  of  the  Catholic  Bishop  of  Ross,  and 
attention  is  immediately  arrested  by  a  group  of  fine  ecclesiastical 
buildings  on  an  elevated  plateau  to  the  left,  just  beside  the  road,  or 
street  I  should  rather  say,  for  those  buildings  are  the  beginning  of 
the  town  ;-  they  consist  of  a  cathedral  and  a  convent,  with  very 
commodious  schools,  and  a  pretty  Gothic  chapel.  On  the  other  side 
of  the  way  is  the  schoolhouse,  in  shade  of  which  the  military  were 
concealed  on  the  day  the  Caharagh  labourers  invaded  Skibbereen. 
A  short  distance  beyond  the  town,  the  wooded  hill  of  Knockomagh, 
rising  to  a  considerable  height,  overhangs  Lough  Hyne,  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  spots  in  Ireland.  Some  miles  to  the  westward  lies 
the  pretty  island  of  Sherkin,  which,  with  Tullagh  to  the  east,  makes 
the  charming  little  bay  of  Baltimore  completely  land-locked.  Out  in 
front  of  all,  like  a  giant  sentinel,  stands  the  island  of  Cape  Clear, 
breasting  with  its  defiant  strength  that  vast  ocean  whose  waves 
foam  around  it,  lashing  its  shores  and  rushing  up  its  crannied  bluffs, 
still  and  for  ever  to  be  flung  back  in  shattered  spray  by  those  bold 
and  rocky  headlands. 

"  My  informant  was  right  about  my  going  to  Abbey strewry.  I 
had  already  inquired  the  way  to  it,  and  had  learned  that  it  was  half 
a  mile  or  so  beyond  Bridgetown.  I  wished  my  interesting  informant 
good  evening,  and  pursued  my  walk.  Coming  to  the  highest  point 
of  the  road,  beyond  Bridgetown,  a  very  charming  landscape  opened 
before  me,  made  up  of  the  Valley  of  the  Ben  and  the  agreeably 
undulating  country  beyond  it.  The  river  at  this  place  is  wide  and 
shallow,  and,  judging  from  the  noble  bridge  by  which  it  is  spanned, 
it  must  be  sometimes  greatly  swollen.  The  evening  was  bright  and 
pleasant,  the  sun  had  gone  far  westward,  and  the  effect  of  his  light, 
as  it  played  on  the  scarcely  rippled  water,  and  shone  through  the 
high  empty  arches  of  the  bridge,  standing  like  open  gateways  in  the 
shallow  stream,  made  me  pause  for  a  moment  to  take  in  the  whole 

"  It  was  during  this  time  that  I  discovered,  immediately  beyond 
the  river,  the  object  of  greatest  interest  to  me — the  object,  in  fact, 
,of  my  journey — the  churchyard  of  Abbeystrewry.  There  was  the 
spot  in  which  a  generation  of  the  people  of  Skibbereen  was  buried 
in  a  year  and  a  half.  Those  places  where  poor  humanity  is  laid  to 
rest,  when  life's  work  is  done,  have  been  always  regarded  as  holy 
ground:  cities  of  the  dead,  solemn  and  suggestive.  But  this  was 
more ;  in  its  lonely  seclusion,  in  its  dark  and  terrible  history,  it  was 

■?8  Sketches  in  Larbeti). 

exciting  in  its  impressiveness.  In  the  still  sunlight  evening,  wooed 
to  rest  one  could  imagine  by  the  gentle  murmur  of  the  lien,  its 
little  clump  of  gnarled  trees,  grouped  around  its  scanty  ruin,  was  a 
picture  of  such  complete  repose  as  to  make  the  most  thoughtless  re- 
flective. I  entered.  Immediately  inside  the  gate,  a  little  to  the 
right,  are  those  monster  graves,  called  by  the  people  "  the  pits," 
into  which  the  bodies  were  thrown  coffinless  in  hundreds,  without 
mourning  or  ceremony — hurried  away  by  stealth,  frequently  at  the 
dead  of  night,  to  elude  observation,  and  to  enable  the  survivors  to 
attend  the  public  works  next  day,  and  thus  prolong  for  a  while  their 
unequal  conquest  with  all-conquering  Famine. 

"A  difficulty  arose  in  my  mind  with  regard  to  the  manner  of  in- 
terment in  those  pits.  Great  numbers  I  knew  were  interred  in  each 
of  them,  for  which  reason  they  must  have  been  kept  open  a  con- 
siderable time.  Tet  surely,  I  reflected,  something  resembling  inter- 
ment must  have  taken  place  on  the  arrival  of  each  corpse,  especially 
as  it  was  coffinless.  The  contrivance,  as  I  afterwards  learned,  was 
simple  enough.  A  little  sawdust  was  sprinkled  over  each  corpse  on 
being  laid  in  the  pit,  which  was  thus  kept  open  until  it  had  received 
its  full  complement  of  tenants.  To  trace  one's  steps  slowly  and 
respectfully  among  the  graves  of  those  who  have  reached  the  goal 
of  life  in  the  ordinary  course  fills  one  with  holy  warnings !  To 
stand  beside  the  monument  raised  on  the  battle-field  to  the  brave 
men  who  fell  there  calls  up  heroic  echoes  in  the  heart ;  but  here 
there  is  no  room  for  sentiment ;  here,  in  humiliation  and  sorrow,  not 
unmixed  with  indignation,  one  is  driven  to  exclaim — 

*  Oh,  God  !  that  tread  should  he  so  dear, 
And  human  flesh  so  cheap.' 

"  Although  thus  cast  down  by  earthly  feelings,  Divine  Faith  raises 
one  up  again  !  Divine-Faith !  the  noblest  and  brightest  and  holiest 
gift  of  &od  to  man,  always  teaching  us  to  look  heavenward !  Excel- 
sior in  its  theme  for  ever !  And  who  can  doubt  but  the  Grod  of  all 
consolation  and  mercy  received  the  souls  of  his  famine-slain  poor 
into  that  kingdom  of  glory  where  He  dwells,  and  which  He  had 
purchased  for  them  at  so  great  a  price.  Even  in  their  imperfections 
and  sins  they  were  like  to  Him  in  many  ways ;  they  were  poor,  they 
were  despised,  they  had  not  whereon  to  lay  their  head ;  they  were 
long  suffering,  too  ;  in  the  deepest  pangs  which  they  had  suffered 
from  hunger  and  burning  thirst  (the  last  and  most  terrible  effects  of 
hunger),  they  cursed  not,  they  reviled  not;  they  only  yearned  for  the 
consolations  of  their  holy  religion,  and  looked  hopefully  to  Him  for 
a  better  world.  It  is  one  of  the  sweetest  consolations  taught  us  by 
holy  Faith  that  the  bones  now  withered  and  nameless  in  those  famins 
pits,  where  they  were  laid  in  their  shroudless  misery,  shall  one  day, 
touched  by  His  Almighty  power,  be  reunited  to  these  happy  souls 
in  a  union  that  can  know  no  end  and  feel  no  sorrow." 

Sketches  in  CarberiJ. 


Keferring  to  the  graveyard  near  Eoaring  "Water, 
the  author  says : — 

"  This  graveyard,  looking  out  upon  the  restless  waters  from  its 
quiet  elevation,  must  remain  for  ages  the  most  historic  spot  in  the 
locality,  although  Skull  is  not  without  a  history  and  historic  remains. 
Many  a  castle  and  stronghold  have  the  O'Mahonvs  and  O'Donovana 
built  among  the  crags  of  the  rocky  islands,  which  are  grouped  in 
such  variety  to  seaward,  the  ruins  of  which  are  to-day  full  of  beauty 
and  interest  for  the  tourist.  But  surely  the  day  will  come  when 
those  crumbling  ruins  shall  be  once  again  a  portion  of  the  -common 
soil,  nameless  and  forgotten  ;  but  distant  though  the  day  may  be, 
Skull  and  Skibbereen,  those  two  famine-slain  Sisters  of  the  South, 
must  still  be  found  on  the  page  of  Irish  history,  illustrating  the 
great  famine  of  1847." 


8()  Sketches  in  Carbery. 


Cape  Clear  continued— History  of  St.  Kieran,  patron  saint  of  the 
island — Description  of  a  severe  storm  in  Cape  during  February,. 
1874 — Dunanore  Castle,  and  the  legend  connected  with  it — General 
description  of  the  ancient  feudal  castles,  their  architecture,  and 
internal  economy — Beautiful  yiew  from  Dun-an-Ore — A  glance  at 
Irish  history  during  the  close  of  the.lCth  century. 

The  most  interesting  circumstance  connected  with 
the  history  of  Cape  Clear,   and  from  which  it  has  ' 
derived  the  name  of  Insula  Sanctci  Clarce,  is  the  fact 
of  its  having  been  the  birth-place  of  St.  Kieran,  who 
preceded  St.  Patrick  by  thirty  years.  According  to  the 
"Annals  of  Innisfallen"  and  "Ussher's  Chronological 
Index,"  St.  Kieran  was  born  in  Cape  Clear,  A.  D.  352. 
In  the  'Annals"thefollowingnotice  is  given  (Transl.) : 
"A.  D.   352,    St.   Ciaran,    Bishop   of  Saighir,    and 
patron  saint  of  the  people  of  Ossoraidhe  ( Ossory), 
was  born  in  the  island  called  Cape  (Cleire)  Clear,  a 
promontory  of  Corca  Laidhe,  in  the  county  Cork." 
"  A.  D.  402.   Ciaran  and  Declan,  two  bishops,  came 
from  Rome  to  preach  the  Gospel  in  Ireland.    Ciaran, 
after  having  preached  the  Gospel  in  Inis-Cleire  and 
all  over  Corca  Laidhe  (Carbery),  founded  a  bishop's 
see  at  Saighir  in  Ossory,  and  Declan  also  another 
bishop's  see  at  Ardmore  in  the  Desies."    The  limited 
extent  of  his  mission   as  a  Christian  preacher,  and 
the  greater  renown  of  St.  Patrick,  the  brilliancy  of 
whose  fame  threw  all  minor  luminaries  in  the  shade, 
have  combined  to   obscure  more  or  less  the  history 
of  the  patron  saint  of  Cape,  whose  name  is  sometimes 
also  mistaken  for  St.  Ciaran  of  Clonmacnois,*  another 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


distinguished    divine,    but   entirely   distinct.     The 
latter  flourished  in  the  beginning  of  the  b'th  century, 
and  founded  the  celebrated  abbey  at  Clonmacnoise 
on  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Shannon,  in  the  King's 

That  St.  Kieran  of  Cape  Clear  must  have  been  a 
man  distinguished  by  rare  perfection  of  mind  and 
holiness  of  life,  great  energy  of  character,  and  deep 
devotion  to  his  calling,  is  evident  from  the  account, 
brief  and  meagre  though  itlbe,  we  are  able  to  obtain 
from  reliable  sources.  His  birth-place  was  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  Kintracht  (White-strand), 
called  since  that  remarkable  event  Trakieran  im- 
mediately within  sight  of  the  dwelling-house,  where 
afterwards  a  chapel  dedicated  to  his  name  was  erected 
called  St.  Kieran's  chapel.  The  ruins  maj'  still  be 
observed,  of  a  more  modern  edifice,  however ;  occu- 
pying the  same  position  near  the  sea,  and  including 
within  the  aisle  and  choir  an  ancient  burial-place. 
In  the  centre  of  Tra- Kieran,  deeply  imbedded  in 
the  sand,  we  observe  a  remarkable  pillar-stone,  said 
to  be  the  work  of  St.  Kieran's  own  hauds,  and  fixed 
in  this  locality  in  order  to  commemorate  his  name, 
and  to  be  pointed  out  as  a  memorial  of  his  Christian 
mission.  The  tradition  regarding  this  circumstance 
has  been  handed  down  from  generation  to  generation 
in  an  unbroken  line,  and  is  as  fresh  to-day  in  the 
minds  of  the  inhabitants  of  Cape  Clear,  as  when, 
fourteen  centuries  and  a  half  ago  (a  long  space  of 
time),  St.  Kieran  converted  their  pagan  ancestors  to 
Christianity,  thus  gaining  far  himself  the  title  of 
"Primarius  Hibernite  Sanctorum"  (first  in  order  of 
time  of  the  saints  in  Ireland). 

The  pillar-stone  referred  to  is  a  promiuent  object 
on  the  strand  of  North  Harbour ;  it- is  firmly  fis§d 


82  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

in  the  sand,  of  an  oblong  shape,  about  three  feet 
high,  and  eighteen  inches  in  circumference.  We 
can  still,  on  close  examination,  discover  towards  the 
summit,  traces  of  two  sculptured  crosses,  slightly 
raised  above  the  surface  of  the  stone.  In  the  genea- 
logies of  Hi-Fiacrach,  reference  is  made  to  a  similar 
cross,  sculptured  on  a  pillar-stone,  by  St.  Patrick, 
at  Ballina,  Tirawley.  Close  to  the  pillar-stone  at 
Tra-Kieran,  a  miniature  well — a  mere  hollow  in  the 
sand—  exists.  Over  this  the  tide  encroaches  at  high 
water ;  however,  on  its  receding,  the  water  in  the 
well  is  perfectly  fresh,  being  fed  by  a  spring  which 
comes  up  from  a  deep  source.  This  is  called  St. 
Kieran's  Well.  The  5th  March,  the  anniversary 
of  St.  Kieran's  birth,  is  still  observed  as  a  holiday 
on  the  island  of  Cape  Clear ;  this  custom  has  survived 
from  time  immemorial.  The  name  of  the  saint  is 
also  commonly  adopted  as  a  Christian  name,  Kieran 
Driscoll  being  a  not  unusual  title. 

Smith,  who  visited  Cape  about  a  century  ago,  has 
made  the  following  allusion  in  the  "History  of  Cork" 
to  Cape  Clear,  and  also  to  St.  Kieran  : — "  Cape  Clear 
island  is  the  most  southern  part  of  Ireland,  and 
contains  twelve  ploughlands;  on  the  north-west 
point  stands  a  castle,  built  on  a  rock  in  the  sea, 
called  Dunanore,  to  the  east  of  which  is  the  cove  of 
Tra-Kieran,  or  St.  Kieran's  Strand,  where  we  find  a 
pillar  of  stone,  with  a  cross  rudely  cut  towards  the 
top,  supposed  to  have  been  the  work  of  that  saint ; 
this  stone  is  held  in  great  veneration  by  an  incredible 
number  of  pilgrims,  who  assemble  round  it  every 
5th  March,  on  which  day  his  festival  is  celebrated; 
a  church  in  ruins  under  the  invocation  of  St.  Kieran 
adjoins  this  pillar." 

In   the  year   402,    St.  Kieran,  after    convert- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  83 

ing  the  people  of  Cape  Clear  and  Corca  Laidhe 
(Carbery),  proceededto  Ossory,  where  he  founded  a 
bishop's  see  at  Saigher,  called  after  him  Serkieran  a 
townland  in  the  parish  of  same  name  in  the  barony 
of-  Bally britain,  King's  County.  The  ruins  of  an 
ancient  church  point  out  where  he  settled.  The 
episcopal  throne,  or  chair,  of  St.  Kieran,  is  still  pre- 
served in  the  beautiful  and  ancient  church  of  St. 
Canice,  Kilkenny ;  it  is  made  of  stone,  of  graceful 
proportions,  and  stands  in  the  north  transept.  As 
additional  evidence  and  authority,  besides  Ussher  and 
the  "  Annals  of  Innisfallen,"  we  find  the  following 
remarks  by  "Wright : — "This  patriarch  (St.-Ciaran) 
is  believed  to  have  preceded  St.  Patrick  by  thirty 
years  in  his  holy  mission,  and  to  have  been  the  first 
to  preach  Christianity  in  Ireland."  Wills  also  men- 
tions the  following : — "  At  the  coming  of  St.  Patrick, 
four  Cbristian  preachers  are  mentioned  by  old  Irish 
testimonies  to  have  been  before  him  and  still  living 
in  his  time — these  were  Ailbe,  afterwards  first 
bishop  of  Emly;  Declan  of  Ardmore;  Kieran  of 
Saigre  (by  successive  translation  removed  to  Kil- 
kenny) ;  and  Ibar  of  Beg  Iri,  a  small  island  off  the 
Wexford  coast." 

Of  all  these  St.  Kieran  was  the  most  prominent 
and  distinguished,  and  the  truth  of  his  claims  to  an- 
tecedence can  hardly  be  disputed  when  written  history 
and  tradition  proclaim  the  fact  so  unmistakably.  It 
is  a  subject  of  much  interest,  especially,  when  we  reflect 
that,  if  this  be  so,  the  pillar-stone  at  Cape  Clear  is  at  pre- 
sent the  oldest  Christian  relic  of  the  past  to  be  seen  in 
Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  and  that  the  island  of  Cape 
Clear  and  ancient  Carbery  were  the  first  bright  spots  in 
the  pagan  wilderness  where  the  lights  of  Christianity 
shone  under  the  guidance  of  St.  Kieran,  thirty  years 

84  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

before  the  apostle,  St.  Patrick,  converted  all  Ireland 
to  the  Christian  faith.  In  "CorcaLaidhe"  reference 
is  made  to  the  life  of  St.  Kieran,  the  most  interesting 
being  that  of  the  "  Scholiast  of  Aengus,"  who  has 
minutely  recorded  the  following  particulars,  trans- 
lated into  Latin  by  the  celebrated  Colgan  (Acta,  s.  s. 
p.  471.)  I  give  a  literal  translation  of  the  latter. 
"  Kieran  was  son  of  Brandubius^  son  of  Bressalnis, 
son  of  Bran,  son  of  Fianboth,  &c. ;  Liedania  of  the 
Stock  of  Laidhe,  son  of  Ith  (paternal  uncle  or 
Milesius),  was  mother  of  St.  Kieran,  and  Fintracht  is 
the  name  of  the  place  in  which  he  was  born,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  Corca  Laidhe  (Carbery)  were  the  first 
who  believed  in  Christianity  in  Ireland.  But  Kieran 
inhabited  Saighir   (Ossory)  thirty  years  before  the 

arrival  of  St.  Patrick Kieran  was  Pri- 

marius  (first  in  order  of  time)  of  the  Saints  of 
Ireland.  He  was  also  a  man  rich. in  the  possession 
of  herds.  His  herd-house,  or  '  Bovile,'  had  ten 
gates,  and  ten  special  stalls;  in  each  were  ten 
heifers,  &c.  (This  must  refer  to  the  time  when  he 
was  Bishop  of  Saighir.)  Kieran  appropriated  nothing 
of  the  produce  or  milk  during  his  lifetime,  but  dis- 
tributed the  entire  amongst  the  poor  and  distressed 
Christians.  He  also  had  fifty  yoke-horses  for  the 
plough  and  agricultural  purposes ;  neither,  however, 
did  he  partake  of  anything  of  their  produce,  nor  did  he 
eat  wheaten  bread  in  his  entire  life.  His  daily  food, 
which  he  took  only  in  the  evening,  was  a  mouthful 
of  barley  bread,  with  a  dessert  of  raw  herbs,  and  a 
draught  of  cold  water.  His  garment  was  made  of 
deer-skins,  bound  round  with  a  girdle  of  untanned 
hide,  and  when  he  rested  for  a  while,  his  couch  was 
a  rock." 

Such  i^  the  account  we  obtain  regarding  the 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


manner  of  life  pursued  by  the  first  Christian  saint 
of  Ireland,  as  self-denying,  simple,  and  abstemious 
as  that  of  the  most  rigid  hermit,  with  the  difference 
that  it  was  attended  by  more  practical  and  beneficial 
results  to  mankind.  The  foregoing  is  but  a  very 
brief  and  imperfect  sketch,  compiled  from  trust- 
worthy sources,  of  the  life  of  the  renowned  saint  of 
Cape  Clear,  Carbery,  and  Ossory.  However,  it  will, 
perhaps,  tend  to  develop  additional  facts  regarding 
the  history  of  one  whose  name  is  identified  with 
everything  that  is  distinguished,  noble,  and  truly 

In  the  "  Monasticon  Hibernicon"  we  learn  that 
during  the  years  820,  '24,  and  '25,  Cape  Clear  suf- 
fered many  devastations  by  the  Danes.  Cork  city 
was  also  pillaged  at  the  same  time  by  these  unre- 
lenting pirates  who  visited  Cape  so  unceremoniously 
on  their  first  arrival  in  Ireland.  "  St.  Comgall,  a 
disciple  of  St.  JFinbarr  (6th  century),  was  Abbott  of 
Cape  Clear,  and  also  Saint  Cillian.  A.  D.  953  died 
the  Abbot,  Dunalang,  who  was  son  of  O'Donagan. 
A.  D.  960  the  island  was  again  despoiled  by  the 
Danes."  Thus  it  will  appear  that  during  the  very 
earliest  era  of  Christianity,  Cape  Clear  had  attained 
a  remarkable  notoriety — a  fact  which  must  be  attri- 
buted not  alone  to  its  prominent  geographical  posi- 
tion, but  also  to  the  fame  it  had  attained  as  the  Insula. 
Sancta  Clarce — being  the  birth-place  of  the  good  St. 

Dr.  Joyce,  in  his  admirable  work  entitled  "  Irish 
Names  of  Places,"  refers  at  some  length  to  the  his- 
tory of  St.  Kieran  ;  he  is  adverse  to  the  opinion  that 
St.  Kieran  preceded  St.  Patrick,  and  his  ideas  on 
the  subject  are  in  accordance  with  those  of  some 
other  authorities ;  still  the  evidence  adduced  in  the 

8(>  Sketches  in  C&rberfj. 

foregoing  paragraph,  which  includes  names  of  high 
repute,  goes  to  strengthen  the  popular  tradition  and 
belief  as  to  St.  Kieran  having  been  the  earliest  of 
the  Irish  saints.  As  the  remarks  of  Dr.  Joyce  on 
the  subject  I  am  discussing  are  most  interesting, 
and  as  it  is  only  right  when  an  important  event  is 
being  recorded  that  the  statements  'pro  and  con  should 
be  thoroughly  discussed,  I  submit  the  following 
extract  from  the  work  of  that  learned  antiquarian 
and  philologist : — 

"  There  were  many  saints  named  Ciaran  or  Kieran,  but  two  of 
them  were  distinguished  beyond  the  others,  St.  Ciaran  of  Clonmac- 
noise,   of  whom  I  shall  not  speak  here,  and  St.  Ciaran  of  Ossory. 
Eegarding  the  exact  period  when  the  latter  flourished  there  is  much 
uncertainty ;  but  according  to  the  most  reliable  accounts  he  became 
a  bishop  about  the  year  538.     He  was  born  in  the  island  of  Cape 
Clear ;  but  his  father  Ligneus  was  a  native  of  Ossory,  and  of  kingly 
descent.      Ciaran  was  one   of   the   numerous  band  of  saints   who 
attended  St.  Finian's  school  at  Clonard ;  and  having  retired  to  a 
solitary  place  called  Saighir  (Sair)  in  the  territory  of  Eilein  Munster, 
he  after  some  time  erected  a-monastery  there,  which  gradually  grew, 
and  beeair.e  the  nucleus  of  a  town.    He  subsequently  employed  him- 
self partly  in  the  care  of  his  monastery  and  partly  in  preaching  the 
gospel  to   the  Ossorians  and  others,  of  whom  he   collected  great 
numbers.    According  to  a  gloss  in  the  "  Felire  of  Aengus"  at  the  5th 
of  March  (Ciaran's  festival  day),  Saighir  was  the  name  of  a  fountain; 
after  the  saint's  time  it  was  called  Saighir-Ciaran,  which  is  now 
contracted  to  Seirkieran,  the  name  of  a  parish  near  Parsonstown  ; 
Ciaran  is  also  the  patron  of  Rathkieran  in  Kilkenny,  where  he  pro- 
bably built  his  church  near  a  pagan  rath,  which  took  his  name.    On 
the  island  of  Cape  Clear  traditions  of  St. "Ciaran  still  flit  among  the 
peasantry.     An  ancient  little  church  retains  the  name  of  Kilkieran, 
and  a  strand  in  one  part  of  the  island  is  called  Trakieran  (Ciaran's 
strand)  on  which  stands  a  primitive  stone  cross,  said  to  have  been 
made  by  the  saint's  own  hands.     St.  Ciaran  established  a  nunnery 
near  Seirkieran  for  his  mother  Liadhan  (Leean)  or  Liedaniu  ;  and 
from  her  the  place  has  since  borne  the  name  of  Rillyon  (Liedhan's 
church).     It  is  highly  probable  that  it  is  from   her  also  that  the 
pariih  of  Ballyon  in  Meath,  and  the  townland  of  Killyon  in  the 
parish  of  Dunflerth,  KUdare,  received  their  names." 

Opposite  Tra-Kieran,  on  the  south  side  of  the. 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


island,  is  South  Harbour,  which  is  separated  from 
the  former  by  a  narrow  rocky  isthmus.  In  the 
vicinity  is  a  collection  of  cabins  of  most  unpretend- 
ing appearance,  forming  a  sort  of  fishing  hamlet. 
The  priest's  residence  is  near  the  beach,  and  the 
climate  here,  owing  to  the  southerly  aspect,  is  so 
mild  and  warm  during  the  summer  that  potatoes 
are  quite  ripe  towards  the  end  of  May.  Of  late  an 
improvement  is  being  effected  in  the  residences  of 
the  inhabitants,  who  also  suffer  less  from  destitution 
than  in  former  times.  South  Harbour  possesses  a 
good  depth  of  water,  but,  owing  to  its  exposure  to 
the  S.  E.  gales,  which  blow  at  times  so  violently,  the 
anchorage  is  unsafe.  It  would  require  a  large  ex- 
penditure of  money  to  construct  a  breakwater  or 
pier,  which  would  give  sufficient  shelter  to  vessels. 
The  present  miniature  breakwater  is  of  no  practical 

The  following  strange  story  is  related  by  Smith 
in  connection  with  South  Harbour.  "About  120 
years  ago  a  large  vessel,  with  a  valuable  cargo  on 
board,  homeward  bound  from  the  "West  Indies,  was 
overtaken  by  a  storm  near  Cape  Clear.  She  was  in 
great  danger,  having  several  feet  of  water  in  her 
hold,  and  the  captain,  fearing  that  she  would  not 
remain  afloat  until  morning— whether  by  good  luck 
or  good  management  it  is  impossible  to  say — steered 
her  during  the  night  into  the  harbour  by  the  light 
of  a  candle  from  a  cabin  on  the  island.  Great  was 
his  amazement  the  following  morning  to  find  him- 
self safely  deposited  in  a  snug  basin,  though-  quite 
io-norant  of  the  locality,  as  he  had  lost  his  reckoning 
cfuring  the  gale."  This  was  certainly  a  hair- 
breadth escape,  as,  had  he  deviated  in  the  slight- 
est' degree  from  the   narrow  channel  leading  in, 


Sketches  in  Carbery. 

the  ship  would  have  been  dashed  to  pieces  on  the 

On  the  eastern  side  of  'the  harbour  the  cliffs  attain 
to  a  considerable  height,  having  to  confront  the  fierce 
onset  of  wind  and  wave  ;  they  are  also  hollowed  out 
by  the  continual  undermining  action-of  the  sea  at 
their  base  into  numerous  caves,  many  of  which  run 
in  to  a  considerable  length,  and  form  natural  arch- 
ways, some  with  two  openings  externally.  These 
caves  abound  with  sea-birds  and  pigeons,  and  here 
we  also  observe,  during  the  summer  months,  puffins 
in  great  numbers.  Tranquil  as  the  scene  may  appear 
in  fine  weather,  when  everything  is  hushed  into 
silence,  and  no  sound  heard  save  the  rippling  of  the 
tide  on  the  beach,  or  the  scream  of  the  sea-birds,  or 
the  measured  sound  of  oars  in  a  solitary  fishino-  boat 
or  two — at  such  a  time  a  sensation  steals  over  the 
visitor  to  this  Ultima  Thule,  as  if  he  had  been 
banished  far  away  into  the  ocean  from  the  busy 
haunts  of  men  into  some  remote  spot  where  solitude 
reigns  supreme— how  different  is  the  aspect  of 
Nature  in  the  winter  months,  when  fierce,  angry, 
waves  roll  in  from  the  ocean,  and  storms  cut  off  all 
communication  with  the  mainland. 

One  of  the  severest  gales  which  has  happened  for 
the  last  thirty  years,  and  one  which  has  proved  most 
disastrous  to  shipping  and  destructive  to  human  life, 
occurred  on  the  10th  and  11th  February,  1874. 
The  writer  happened  to  be  on  the  island  during  the 
time  it  prevailed,  and  witnessed,  to  some" extent^  the 
storm,  which  almost  attained  the  proportions  of  a 
hurricane,  Experientia  docet.  Embarking  at  Balti- 
more in  a  fine  six-oared  boat,  manned  by  six  stalwart 
Capers,  we  made  a  rapid  passage  across  the  Grasco- 
nane,  and  landed  at  the  eastern  extremity  of  the 


Sketches  in  Carhery. 


along  a  narrow 

island.  A  walk  of  about  two  miles 
hilly  pathway,  which  runs  through  the  centre  of  the 
island,  brought  us  to  our  destination,  South  Harbour. 
Towards  the  evening  of  the  9th  February  the  sky 
assumed  an  appearance  ominous  of  bad  weather,  and 
a  gale  sprung  up  from  the  S.  E.  (the  most  dangerous 
point  of  the  compass  along  the  eoast)  which,  gradually 
increasing  in  force,  became  a  regular  storm  towards 
the  morning  of  the  10th.  The  sky  became"  covered 
with  dingy,  murky-looking  clouds — 

Flitting  o'erhead  in  fierce  array, 

Like  dark  squadrons  marshalling  for  the  fray 

— the  wind  sighed  and  shrieked  and  roared  alter- 
nately, with  a  dismal,  wailiug  sound,  blowing  in 
angry  squalls  and  fitful  gusts,  which  almost  stopped 
one's  locomotion.  No  boat  could  possibly  be  launched 
in  such  weather.  The  view  of  the  sea  during  the 
height  of  the  gale  was  grand  and  imposing  in  the 
highest  degree. 

Perhaps  in  few  places  can  the  ocean  during  a 
storm  be  seen  in  more  sublime  grandeur,  with  such 
towering  .waves  and  foam-crested  billows,  than  off 
the  precipitous  headlands  of  St.  Kieran's  isle.  There 
are  no  promontories  or  rocky  barriers  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  to  check  the  roll  of  the  Atlantic  tide,  as  it 
sweeps  majestically  along,  and  when  a  winter  gale 
from  the  S.  E.  prevails,  the  waves  near  the  island 
are  literally  mountain-high.  The  gale  of  the  10th 
and  11th  February  has  not  been  equalled  in  severity, 
the  islanders  say,  within  the  last  forty  years.  Quan- 
tities of  driftwood,  sad  emblems  of  shipwreck,  floated 
into  the  harbour,  and  dead  fish — ling,  whiting,  pol- 
lock, &c. — strewed  the  beach,  proving  the  terrible 
violence  of  the  sea.     The  destruction  of  fish  during 

90  Sketches  in  Carberp. 

a  severe  storm  arises  not  so  much  from  their  being 
dashed  against  the  rocks  as  from  their  being  choked 
by  the  sand  and  mud  raised  from  the  bottom  in  the . 
shallow  water,  and  which  block  up  the  gills,  pre- 
venting the  proper  exercise,  necessary  for  life,  of  the 
function  of  respiration.  The  gills  are  generally 
found  clogged  and  matted  together  with  sand  and 

At  the  entrance  of  South  Harbour,  which  faces 
the  S  E.,  the  sea  assumed  quite  a  terrible  appear- 
ance. Each  mighty  wave,  as  it  rolled  in  from  'the 
ocean,  broke  with  a  noise  like  thunder  against  the 
steep  cliffs  on  the  bold  headlands  which  bound  the 
harbour's  mouth  on  either  side.  Huge,  lofty  columns 
of  fleecy-looking  foam,  and  long  lines  of  undulating 
feathery  spray  enveloped  like  snow-flakes  the  jutting 
rocks,  burst  over  the  summits  of  the  cliffs  in  white 
clouds,  gradually  melting  away  and  becoming  lost 
to  view,  to  be  succeeded  by  others  similar  in  appear- 
ance, as  each  advancing  wave  came  on.  The  fol- 
lowing day,  when  the  wind  had  subsided,  and  the 
sea  became  somewhat  calm,  told  its  sorrowful  tale  of 
the  disasters  of  the  deep,  as  along  the  coast  several 
wrecks  had  occurred,  and  many  ships — after  hair- 
breadth and  most  extraordinary  escapes  from  the 
perils  of  the  ocean,  with  damaged  rigging  and  bat- 
tered hulls — were  obliged  to  seek  the  friendly  shelter 
of  Orookhaven  and  Baltimore. 

In  a  cabin  close  to  South  Harbour,  during  the 
month  of  December,  1869,  a  most  disastrous  accident 
occurred,  owing  to  the  explosion  of  a  quantity  of 
petroleum  (rock '  oil),  a  most  explosive  compound. 
The  cask  containing  the  fluid  was  picked  up  not  far 
from  the  beach,  a  portion  of  wreck  cargo.  The 
captors  proceeded  to  divide  the  spoil,  but  unibrtu- 


Skefchcs  in  Carbeiy-  9i 

natelj  one  heedlessly  approached  the  cask  with  a' 
lighted  candle,  when  the  petroleum  ignited,  and  a 
terrible  explosion  resulted,  causing  the  loss  of  five 
lives.  It  was  even  strange  how  any  of  the  inmates 
of  the  house  escaped  destruction.  So  intense  was 
the  heat,  that  the  delf  ware  and  the  glass  bottles 
became  fused  into  one  mass. 

A  short  distance  to  the  west  of  Tra-Kieran,  on  a 
projecting  rocky  headland  on  the  south-west  side  of 
the  island,  we  observe  the  ruins  of  Dunanore  Castle 
— The  O'Driscoll's  fortress.  This  castle  formed  a 
safe  retreat  to  the  occupants  in  times  of  danger,  i.  e., 
before  artillery  came  into  use.  A  more  impregnable 
site  cannot  be  well  imagined.  The  building  occupied 
the  entire  of  the  solitary  rock,  on  which  it  was  built, 
and  was  connected  with  the  mainland  by  means  of 
a  narrow  isthmus  or  causeway,  which  must  ori- 
ginally have  been  tunnelled  through  the  centre. 
On  every  other  side  it  was  inaccessible,  a  barrier 
of  steep  cliffs  surrounding  the  castle  walls,  and  re- 
sisting not  alone  the  fury  of  the  elements  but  also 
defying  the  aggressive  attacks  of  human  foes.  The 
causeway,  when  Smith  visited  the  island  in  1770, 
was  a  narrow  and  dangerous  pathway  from  the 
mainland  to  the  castle.  He  speaks  of  it  in  the  fol- 
lowing terms: — "There  is  a  very  narrow  passage, 
about  a  yard  broad  and  ten  yards  in  length,  to  this 
castle.  This  path  is  high  and  steep  on  both  sides, 
the  sea  on  either  side  being  so  very  deep,  that  few 
but  persons  well  used  to  it  will  venture  to  walk  it 
over.  When  I  got  to  the  top  of  this  castle,  and  saw 
the  ocean  rolling  on  all  sides  of  the  rock,  I  wished 
heartily  to  be  again  on  the  mainland." 

This  description  would  not  apply  to  the  place  at 
present.    By  the  continual  action  of  the  waves  the 




92  Sketches  in  Carberp. 

-  • 

narrow  passage  has  been  nearly  washed  away,  and 
the  height  ahove  the  water  level  is  only  a  few  feet ; 
in  fact,  sometimes  at  high  water  the  castle  plateau 
becomes  completely  insulated.  Dun  an  ore  (the  Golden 
Fort)  is  supposed  to  have  beeu  first  erected  about 
the  beginning  of  the  13th  century;  the  ruins  at 
present  consist  of  a  portion  of  the  side  walls  of  the 
central  tower  or  donjon,  the  eastern  wall  has  fallen 
to  the  ground,  but  so  firmly  united  together  are  the  " 
stones,  by  the  grouting  process  used  in  the  masonry, 
that  the  greater  part  of  the  fallen  structure  remains 
in  one  solid  mass.  Nearly  all  traces  of  the  outer 
buildings  which  surrounded  the  tower,  viz.,  bastions, 
curtains,  &c,  and  the  dwellings  which  were  occupied 
by  the  chieftain's  retainers,  have  disappeared — these 
were  built  of  more  fragile  materials,  and  hence  it  is 
that  at  the  present  day,  although  we  observe  the 
various  central  towers  of  the  ancient  castles  thickly 
scattered  over  the  face  of  the  country,  and  their 
massive  walls  standing  as  monuments  of  the  feudal 
ages,  we  fail  to  discover  the  relics  of  the  subordi- 
nate structures  w&ich  used  to  surround  the  Bawn  or 

Most  of  the  old  castles,  whose  picturesque  ruins 
strike  our  attention,  and  add  an  additional  charm  to 
the  beautiful  scenery  of  our  native  isle,  were  con- 
structed  in  the  begiuning  of  the  13th  century.  The 
style  of  architecture  was  principally  introduced  by 
the  feudal  barons  from  Normandy  into  England  and 
Ireland.  However,  according  to  a  distinguished 
Corkman,  Windele,  in  his  charming  work  entitled 
"  South  of  Ireland,"  "  of  106  castles  erected  within 
the  county  of  Cork,  56  alone  were  built  by  Irish 
chieftains  (twenty-six  of  these  belonging  to  the 
Mac  Carthys),   and  fifty-nine  by  the  Anglo-Irish 

1  » 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


families  of  Barry,  Fitzgerald,  Barret,  &c.    In  Kerry 
of  thirty-nine  castles  enumerated,  twenty-nine  were 
built  by  the  Milesian  Irish."     The  massive  walls  of 
the  tower,  sometimes  twelve  feet  thick,  were  built  of 
rough,  unhewn  stones,   and  the  wonderful  stability 
they  still  possess  bears  evidence  of  the  skill  used  in 
their  construction.    The  lower  chambers  had  vaulted 
roofs  of  stone,  and  were  dark,  gloomy  apartments, 
used  by  the  retainers  and  menials,  and  lighted  by 
narrow  loopholes  in  the  walls,  which  served  as  win- 
dows.    Circular    winding    stone    staircases,    which 
never   rejoiced  in  the  luxury  of  a    carpet,    wound 
along  the  angles  of  thejtower  from  the  basement  to 
the  upper  story,  surmounting  which  at  the  top  the 
battlemented  walls  projected  in  crenelated  or  machi- 
colated  parapets,  resting  on  corbels,  and  permitting 
of  a  passage  at  the  summit  between  the  parapet  and 
the  roof,  which  was  a  very  necessary  "point  d'appui" 
when    an    attacking    force    approached   the   castle. 
From  here  the  garrison  discharged  their  arrows  or 
guns  as  the  case  might  be,  or  hurled  down  stones  on 
the  heads  of  their  enemies.     About  midway  up  we 
observe,  inside  the  walls,  the  stone  corbels  on  which 
the.  wooden  floors  of  the  upper  story  used  to  rest. 
These  floors  have  long  ago  decayed  and  disappeared 
from  the  influence  of  the  weather,  and  hence  it  is 
that  the  castles  are  such  complete  shells.    The  upper 
stories  were  the  state  apartments,  where  the  chief 
and  his  family  resided,  and  some  of  them,  where  an 
advance  had  been  made  in  the  refinements  of  life, 
were    hung   with'  tapestry,   and   ornamented   with 
curious  weapons  and  implements  of  the  chase      Win- 
dele  says  "  chimnt-ys  were  but  little  known  before  the 
fourteenth  century." 

The. following  remarks  by  the  same  author  are 


94  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

very  interesting  regarding  the  internal  household 
arrangements  of  those  substantial  dwellings.     "  Of  * 
the  interior  economy  of  these  structures,  M.  De  Le 
Boullaye  Le  Grouz  in  1664  gives  no  very  tempting 
description.     The  castles  or  houses  of  the  nobility, 
he  says,  consist  of  four  walls,  extremely  high,  thatched 
with  straw,  but  to  tell  the  truth  they  are  nothing 
but  square  towers  without  windows,  or  at  least  having 
such  small  apertures  as  to  give  no  more  light  than 
there  is  in  a  prison.     They  have  little  furniture,  and 
cover  their  rooms  with  rushes,  of  which  they  make 
their  beds  in  summer,  and  of  straw  in  winter.    They 
put  the  rushes  a  foot  de§p  on  their  floors,  and  on 
their  windows,  and  many  of  them  ornament  their 
ceilings  with  branches.    Much  elegance  was  certainly 
not  the  characteristic  of  the  time,  even  in  some  of 
the  great  English  mansions..    We  are  informed  that 
the  great  hall  was  commonly  strewed  with  marrow- 
bones, and  full  of  hawk  perches,  hounds  and  other 
dogs.     The   walls   were   hung   with    armour,    and 
weapons  of  war  as  well  as  the  chase,  and  some  of 
the  principal  chambers  with  rich  tapestry  in  England 
as  well  as  in  Ireland.     Stools  were  the  substitutes 
"for  chairs.     A  modern  citizen,  of  small  income,  on 
the  whole,  seems  to  enjoy  much  more  real  comfort 
and  convenience  than  the  highest  baron  in  the  palmy 
days  of  feudalism." 

O'Driscoll's  castle  of  Dunanore  was  of  small  di- 
mensions. The  ivied  walls  and  quaint,  picturesque 
ruins,  independent  of  the  wildness  of  the  surrounding 
scenery,  recall  at  once  the  traditions  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood, and  the  interesting  records  of  the  historic 
past.  The  chambers  overhanging  the  stormy  At- 
lantic are  tenantless  and  deserted,  except  by  the 
birds  of  the  air  ;  the  ancient  tapestry  and  the  orna- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  95 


ments  which  decked  the  walls   are  replaced  bv  a 
luxuriant  covering  of  the  ivy  green  ;  and  the  only  \> 

music  now  which   re-echoes  round  this  crumbling 
pile  is  the  mournful  wail  of  the  winter  wind, '  the  ^ 

sighing  of  the  summer  breeze,  and  the  constant 
cadence  of  the  Atlantic  roar. 

•  From  the  vicinity  of  Dunanore,  we  obtain  a  view 
of  the  coast  and  the  surrounding  ocean,  which  is  one 
of  surpassing  beauty,  when  the  summer  sun  is  set- 
ting in  the  far  west.  Towards  the  south,  as  far  as 
the  eye  can  reach,  the  broad  expanse  of  the  Atlantic 
is  stretched  before  our  gaze,  the  distant  horizon 
dotted  here  and  there  by  some  white  sail,  or  the  dark 
hull  of  one  of  those  leviathan  steamers  which  ply 
their  busy  trade  between  the  Old  "World  and  the  New. 
Cape  Clear  is  the  first  land  which  greets  the  Ameri- 
can tourist  or  the  returning  emigrant  on  his  approach 
to  the  old  country,  and  the  last  cherished  spot  of  his 
"  own  dear  isle  "  which  bids  adieu  to  the  Irish  peasant, 
when  he  parts,  perhaps  for  ever,  from  his  native  country 

"  The  sailor  sighs  as  sinks  his  native  shore, 
And  all  its  less'ning  turrets  bluely  fade ; 
He  climbs  the  mast  to  feast  bis  eyes  once  more, 
And  busy  fancy  fondly  lends  her  aid." 

From  here  we  can  observe  those  beautiful  sunsets 
which  no  pen  can  properly  describe  nor  pencil 
debneate,  nor  painter's  skill  pourtray :  dissolving 
views  and  transformation  scenes,  how  far  surpassing 
in  magnificence  the  feeble  artistic  efforts  of  man, 
sketched  by  the  hand  of  nature  on  an  etherial  can- 
vas of  azure  blue ;  clouds  banked  together  in  an 
endless  variety  of  form,  and  with  a  richness  of  colour- 
ing which  defies  description,  all  the  varied  hues  of 
the  rainbow  blended  together  with  matchless  perfec- 
tion, and  so  brilliant  and  brightly  tinted.    In  the 


Sketches  in  Carbery. 

background  the  dark  purple  masses  of  the  rugged 
mountains,  capes,  and  promontories,  which,  by  their 
sombre  colours,  only  serve  the  more  to  display  and 
set  off  the  brilliancy  and  splendour  of  the  sky  over- 

"We  cannot  delay,  however,  over  such  sesthetic 
•  pursuits,  and  must  return  again  to  the  castle  of 
Dunanore  and  the  fortunes  of  Sir  Fineen  O'Driscoll. 
Dunanore  Castle  was  captured,  together  with  the 
rest  of  the  island,  on  the  22nd  of  March,  1601,  by 
Captain  Roger  Harvey.  For  these,  and  other  ser- 
vices, he  was  granted  a  commission  at  the  time  by 
Lord  Deputy  Mountjoy  as  Governor  of  Carbeiy. 
By  means  of  artillery,  which  Harvey  planted  on  the 
high  ground  adjoining  the  castle,  he  compelled  the 
garrison  to  surrender,  and  battered  down  the  eastern 
wall  of  the  castle.  A  tradition  prevailed  for  a  long 
time  that  Dunanore,  as  its  name  would  imply,  was 
a  place  where  a  golden  treasure  had  been  buried,  and 
a  story  is  current  that,  many  years  ago,  in  the  reign 
of  Queen  Anne,  when  a  garrison  of  soldiers  was 
stationed  in  Cape  Clear,  one  of  the  soldiers — whose 
greed  for  wealth  was  excited  by  the  stories  he  had 
heard  of  large  treasures  being  secreted  beneath  the 
foundations  of  the  Golden  Fort—proceeded  to  work 
with  might  and  main  to  discover  the  hidden  treasure; 
however,  his  labours  were  unrequited.  Although  he 
excavated  the  soil  to  the  level  of  the  sea,  no  hidden 
treasure  ever  met  his  anxious  gaze,  except  the  sand 
and  shells  of  the  sea.  The  opening  in  the  ground 
is  still  pointed  out  where  the  disappointed  red-coat 
commenced  his  fruitless  labours. 

The  islanders  recount  the  following  supernatural 
stories  regarding  Dunanore,  which  they  firmly  be- 
lieve to  be  haunted.    On  more  than  one  occasion  a 



Sketches  in  Carbery.  97 

mysterious  vessel  of  beautiful  proportions,  and  with 
gauze-like  sails  of  snowy  whiteness,  has  been  observed 
approaching  the  castle,  and  the  crew  have  been 
actually  seen  at  the  hour  of  midnight  conveying 
into  the  castle  a  large  cargo  of  golden  treasure. 
They  have  been  even  heard  singing  and  carousing 
during  the  night,  yet  no  one  ever  had  the  hardihood 
to  intrude  upon  their  nocturnal  revels.  But  the 
moment  daylight  has  stolen  o'er  the  scene,  the  phan- 
tom ship  has  vanished  into  the  air,  like  the 

"  Baseless  fabric  of  a  vision, 
And  left  not  a  rack  behind," 

the  crew  have  disappeared  as  if  by  magic,  and  not  a 
vestige  of  golden  store,  or  a  relic  of  the  banquet  has 
ever  remained  behind  to  greet  the  anxious  gaze  of 
the  astonished  observer. 

The  upper  story,  which  these  supernatural  visitors 
were  wont  to  frequent,  has  already  fallen  to  decay : 
no  matter  what  used  to  be  left  there  by  ordinary 
mortals  during  the  day  was  sure  to  be  removed  by 
the  fairies  during  the  night,  and  the  floor  afterwards 
swept  by  the  same  "good  people"  with  scrupulous 
neatness  and  care.  * 

Close  to  the  castle  walls  was  a  large  ring-bolt  im- 
bedded in  the  solid  rock,  to  which  the  O'Driscolls 
used  to  moor  their  galleys.  The  castle  promises 
before  long  to  follow  the  example  of  the  one  in  Lough 
Hyne,  and  become  a  fragmentary  ruin.  Indeed  it 
seems  strange  how,  left  to  its  own  unaided  powers 
of  resistance  against  the  elements,  it  could  have  so 
long  escaped  destruction. 

The  close  of  the  16th  and  beginning  of  the  17th 
century  furnish  us  with  historical  details  of  a  most 
exciting  nature.     The  tumult  of  war  with  its  disaa* 


98  Sketches  in  Carbevy. 

trous  train  of  consequences  extended,  as  we  ob- 
served, even  to  the  extreme  end  of  Cape  Clear, 
■which  had  enjoyed  comparative  repose  since  it  was 
invaded  by  the  Danes.  In  the  south  of  Ireland 
the  immense  territories  of  the  great  Earl  of  Des- 
mond, in  Kerry,  Cork,  "Waterford,  Limerick,  &c, 
amounting  to  574,628  acres,  had  been  confiscated 
to  the  Crown.  A  crowd  of  restless  adventurers  and 
greedy  undertakers  had  settled  on  the  ancient 
patrimony  of  the  Fitzgeralds,  who  up  to  this  period 
had  exercised  an  almost  regal  sway  in  the  south  of 

A  lull  had  taken  place  in  the  storm,  which, 
however,  was  destined  to  break  forth  with  re- 
newed violence,  when  the  Spaniards  landed  in 
Kinsale,  on  the  23rd  September,  1601.  Then  fol- 
lowed the  final  effort  of  the  two  great  northern 
chieftains,  O'Donnell  and  O'Neill,  whom  M'Gree 
describes  as  the  Achilles  and  Ulysses  of  the  fight. 
The  memorable  and  important  battle  of  Kinsale 
occurred  shortly  afterwards — December,  1601 — re- 
sulting in  the  final  overthrow  of  the  Spanish  and 
Irish  forces  by  Mountjoy  and  Carew.  The  over- 
weenino-  confidence  and  incapacity  of  Don  Juan 
D'Ao-uila,  the  Spanish  leader,  and  the  impetuous 
ardour  of  O'Donnell,  whose  counsel  outweighed  the 
more  prudent  tactics  of  the  great  O'Neill,  led  in  a 
great  measure  to  this  disastrous  defeat.  At  this 
period  amongst  the  southern  chieftains,  who  had 
joined  the  Spaniards  and  O'Neill  and  O'Donnell, 
the  most  prominent  names  were  those  of  O'Sullivan, 
of  Dunboy,  and  Sir  Fineen  O'Driscoll  More,  a 
sketch  of  whose  career  and  antecedents  we  must 
reserve  for  a  future  chapter. 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  9§ 


CHAPTER  YII.     / 

The  O'Driscoll  pedigree — The  aboriginal  Milesian  colonists  of  Car- 
bery— Sir  Walter  Coppinger — Petition  against  his  encroachments 
by  the  Mayor  and  Burgesses  of  Baltimore — The  Telegraph  Station 
on  Cape  very  important  during  the  American  war — The  old 
Lighthouse,  and  magnificent  sea  view  from  there — The  Signal 
Tower — Fir  breogach — Lough  Errul ;  habits  and  manners  of  the 
people — Cape  Clear,  a  miniature  kingdom,  an  "Imperium  in  Im- 
perio"  down  to  A.  D.  1700 — Cruathan  O'Karevaun  (O'Driscoll), 
the  celebrated  giant — Agriculture  of  the  island,  &c,  &c. 

The    celebrated    chieftain,    Sir  Fineen    (Florence) 
O'Driscoll,  who  furnishes  the  subject  of  the  present 
sketch,  occupied  a  very  prominent  position  in  Irisji 
affairs  during  the  close  of  the  16th  century.     Des- 
cended in  a  direct  line  from  Ith — paternal  uncle  of 
Milidh,   or  Milesius   of  Spain — his   ancestors  had 
possessed,  from  a  very  remote  period  until  the  12th 
century,  all  the  extensive  tract  of  country  stretching 
along  the  sea  coast  from  Kinsale  harbour  to  the 
Kenmare   river.     Encroachments   of  hostile   tribes 
and  the  Anglo-Norman  invasion  had  absorbed,  in 
the  time  of  Sir  Fineen,  the  greater  portion  of  the 
ancestral  domains ;  still,  however,  he  possessed  rich 
territories  in  Baltimore,   Cape  Clear,  and  Sherkin, 
from  which  he  derived  a  considerable  income,  and 
also  the  adjoining  lands  in  Kilcoe,  Creagh,  Augha- 
down,  &c.     Sir  Fineen  had  been  always  considered 
a  most  loyal  subject  until  the  time  of  the  Spanish 
Invasion,  when,  in  conjunction  with  O'Neill,  O'Don- 
nell,  and  O'Sullivan,  he  revolted  and  delivered  up 


100  Sketches  in  Carheri). 

his  castles  of  Dunashead  and  Duunalong  to  the 
Spaniards.  The  result  proved  disastrous  to  his  worldly 
interest,  as  not  alone  did  he  suffer  severe  reverses 
himself,  but  with  him  terminated  the  long  and  ancient 
pedigree  of  the  O'Driscoll  chieftains  of  Corca  Laidhe. 

Sir  Fineen  was  of  royal  descent,  and  one  of  his 
ancestors,-  in  the  3rd  century,  before  the  '(Christian 
Era  (A.  C.  222),  Lughaid  Mac  Con,  was  monarch  of 
all  Ireland,  and — if  we  are  to  believe  history — a  man 
of  great  renown  and  ability.  From  Mac-Con,  accord- 
ing to  Collins,  were  descended  O'Driscoll,  O'Flynn 
of  "Arda,"*  O'Cobthaig,  O'Leary,  &c,  the  Mac  Al- 
iens of  Scotland,  and  the  Campbells,  who  are  still 
called  in  the  "Erse  Clana"  Mhic  Cuin  or  the 
posterity  of  Mac  Con.  Strange  to  say,  even  after 
such  a  lapse  of  time — almost  two  thousand  years — 
Mac  Con  is  still  retained  in  Cape  Clear  as  the 
Christian  name  of  some  of  the  inhabitants,  who  also 
adopt  the  name  of  Kieran  as  a  prefix  to  O'Driscoll, 
a  fact  which  proves  the  historical  connection  of  both 
names  with  the  locality,  and  the  traditionary  re- 
nown of  the  two  great  stars  of  theX)'Driscoll  tribe — 
the  one  a  powerful  monarch,  the  Achilles  of  the  race, 
and  the~other  the  patron  saint  of  the  island,  Primarim 
EibemicB  Sanctorum. 

In  the  "Annals  of  the  Four  Masters,"  and  those  of 
"  Innisfallen,"  notices  of  the  O'Driscolls  (O'Eidrisceoil, 
which  means  Interpreter)  are  very  frequent.  Mac  Con 
and  Fineen  appsar  to  be  the  favorite  names  amongst 
the  chieftains,  who  seem  to  have  been  continually 
engaged  in  petty  warfare  from  the  earliest  times, 
especially  with  the  "Waterford  people,  a  rivalry  which 

*  The  Castle  of  Arda,  situated  midway  between  Lough  Hyne 
and  Baltimore  was  inhabited  formerly  by  the  chief  of  this  family 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  '  101 

must  have  sprung  up  principally  owing  to  the  fisheries 
along  the  coast,  and  the  important  trade  with  Spain, 
which  gave  rise  to  conflicting  interests.    A.  D.  1585, 
Sir  Florence  (Fineen)  O'Driscoll  attended  a  Parlia- 
ment assembled  in  Dublin,  and  there  so  far  conformed 
to  English  customs  as  to  take  his  .land  by  letter 
patent  from  Queen  Elizabeth.     The.  former  custom 
was  that  the  chieftain  of  Corca  Laidhe,  when  inaugu- 
rated into  the  chieftaincy  in  solemn  conclave  of  the 
tribe,  received  as  an  emblem  of  authority  and  un- 
biassed rectitude  a  white  rod  from  MacCarthyEeagh, 
Prince  of  Carbery ,  and  was  afterwards  obeyed  and  styled 
as  The  O'Driscoll,  Lord  of  the  Countie  of  Collymore. 
Sir  Fineen  was  the  first  to  yield  allegiance,  and 
remained  as  already  stated  true  to  his  professions 
until  the  Spanish  Invasion  in  1601,  when  he  admitted 
Spaniards  into  his  castles  of  Dunashead,  Baltimore, 
and  Dunelong,  Sherkin,  and  received  money  and 
ammunition  from  the  same  source.    Sir  Fineen,  not- 
withstanding his  having  joined  the  Spaniards,  was 
shortly  after  pardoned,  and  received  into  favour  by 
the  Government,  as  in  the  "  Pacata  Hibernia,"  by 
Oarew,  is  mentioned  in  the  instructions  to  the  Earl 
of  Thomond,  from  the  Lord  Deputy  :   "  The  former 
is  desired  to  afford  all  kind  and  mild  usage  to  those 
that  are  in  subjection,  or  lately  protected,"  including 
O'Driscoll  amongst  the  number. 

Smith  relates  that,  in  order  to  ingratiate  himself 
with  Queen  Elizabeth,  O'Driscoll  supplied  an  English 
fleet,  which  was  becalmed  off  Baltimore  for  a  con-  - 
siderable  time,  with  fresh  provisions,  and  entertained 
all  the  captains  and  other  officers  at  his  castles  with  - 
princely  hospitality.  So  lavish  was  his  munificence 
on  this  occasion  that  he  actually  flooded  the  town- 
well  wi^h  wine,  and  threw  handfuls  of  money  into, 

102  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

it,  to  divert  the  company,  and  enrich  the  crew. 
From  this  circumstance  this  particular  well  in  Bal- 
timore still  retains  the  name  of  Tohar-an-arigid'(the 
■well  of  the  money.)  Indeed,  it  seems  from  all 
accounts,  that  Sir  Eineen  and  his  ancestors  were  very 
wealthy,  deriving  a  very  large  income  from  the 
various  royalties,  duties,  and  other  customs,  besides 
the  fisheries  along  the  coast,  an  occasional  raid 
on  the  "Waterford  merchants,  and  a  fair  share  of 
smuggling  with  Spain,  a  practice  not  uncommon  in 
the  days  gone  by. 

In  a  copy  of  the  inquisition  taken  in  Eosscarbery, 
in  the  year  1608,  all  the  various  lordships,  royalties, 
rents,  and  dues  are  detailed,  and  the  boundaries 
strictly  defined  of  the  country  or  cantred  of  Colly- 
more,  alias  called  O'Driscoll's  country.  It  contained 
65  ploughlands — 39^  on  the  mainland,  and  25J  in 
the  islands,  which  shows  how  much  reduced  in  size 
were  the  territories  of  the  O'Driscolls  at  this  period. 
The  names  of  their  castles  would  also  indicate  the 
flourishing  and  prosperous  condition  of  the  occupants, 
viz. — Dun-na-Sead,  where  the  English  fleet  was 
entertained,  which  means  the  castle  of  the  jewels, 
and  Dun-an-ore,  in  Cape  Clear,  the  golden  fort. 

The  Queen,  on  being  informed  of  O'Driscoll's  libe- 
rality to  the  fleet,  pardoned  his  joining  the  Spaniards, 
and  sent  for  him  to  Court ;  but,  before  his  arrival, 
her  Majesty  died,  and  during  his  absence  in  Eng- 
land, Smith  tells  us  "  the  great  part  of  his  possessions 
were  intruded  into  by  Sir  Waiter  Coppinger,  which 
caused  this  ancient  family  to  fall  into  decay."  "Walter 
Coppinger,  of  Cloughane,  gent.,  had,  on  previous 
occasions,  been  an  arbitrator  in  deciding  a  dispute 
regarding  landed  property  between  Sir  Fineen  and 
9,  near  relative  of  his,  named  Fynine  Karragh.    Ac- 

Sketches  in  Carboy.  103 

oordiug  to  O'Donovan,  Sir  Pineen  let  Baltimore 
and  the  entire  of  the  Collymore  territory  to  Sir 
Thomas  Crooke  (one  of  the  undertakers,  who  planted 
a  colony  in  Baltimore)  for  twenty-one  years,  for  a 
fine  of  £2,000  sterling,  and  he  thus  prohahly  laid 
the  foundation  of  a  forfeiture."  Crooke  procured  a 
charter  of  incorporation  from  James  L,  A.  D.  1613, 
and  was  the  first  M.  P.  for  Baltimore,  in  which 
capacity  he  took  a  prominent  position  in  the  Parlia- 
mentary debates  in  Dublin  at  that  period. 

After  his  death,  and  before  the  lease  had  expired, 
Coppinger  prosecuted  his  title,  a  very  doubtful  one 
it  must  have  been,  and  got,  by  reference,  an  order 
out  of  Chancery  against  the  heirs  of  O'Driscoll.  The 
Sovereign,  or  Mayor  of  Baltimore,  the  Burgesses, 
and  the  inhabitants,  with  the  heir  of  Sir  Fineen, 
petitioned  Government,  and  stated  their  grievances 
at  full  length.  Coppinger,  in  the  meantime,  after 
the  justices  had  issued  a  commission  to  Sir  "William 
Hull,  Mr.  Henry  Becher,  and  Mr.  Barham  to 
examine  into  the  case,  made  a  private  contract  with 
Becher,  and  granted  him  a  lease  of  tha  whole. 
Another  complaint  followed  from  the  Baltimore 
Sovereign.  Coppinger  was  summoned,  and  confined 
to  Dublin  Castle  for  contempt  of  court,  and  Becher, 
although  one  of  the  commissioners,  was  considered 
equally  culpable.  Fortunately  for  Becher,  how- 
ever, he  had  as  a  particular  friend,  the  celebrated 
Richard  Boyle,  first  Earl  of  Cork,  who  gave  him 
salutary  advice,  and  also  fixity  of  tenure,  regarding 
the  fisheries,  with  the  admonition  that  they  might 
all  go  peacably  home  and  abide  by.  the  decision.— 
(See  Smith.) 

Other  claimants  appeared  soon  after  in  the  wake 
of  the    Sovereigu    of  Baltimore,    Coppinger,   and 

104  Sketches  in  Garbery, 

Beeher,  on  the  20th  of  June,  1631 — and  much  more 
unscrupulous  in  their  dealings  were  they  than  either 
Sir  Eineen's  ancestors,  or  even  the  undertakers  of 
the  16th  century — these  -were  the  Algerine  pirates, 
whose  famous  sack  of  Baltimore  is  so  familiar  to  all. 
The  well-known  lines  of  Moore,  slightly  altered,  will 
apply  well  to  this  occurrence : — 

"  The  colonists  kicked  up  a  deuce  of  a  clatter, 

And  quarrelled  and  fought  about  meum  and  tuum, 
The  Aigerines  came  and  decided  the  matter, 
By  kindly  converting  it  all  into  suum." 

•.': : 

Sir  Eineen,  as  we  mentioned  already,  died  in 
England  early  in  the  17th  century.  His  wife  was 
Eileen  (Ellen),  daughter  of  Sir  Owen  Mac  Car  thy 
Beagh,  Prince  of  Carbery.  Ellen,  her  mother,  was 
daughter  of  Dermott  O'Callaghan  ;  her  grandmother 
was  Eleanor  Eitzgerald,  daughter  of  Grerald,  8th 
Earl  of  Kildare.  His  son,  Cornelius,  was  a  captain 
in  .  the  Archduke's  country,  and  his  grandson,  who 
was  an  ensign  in  the  Spanish  navy,  was  killed 
during  an  engagement  with  the  Turks  'in  the  Medi- 
terranean. Shortly  after  Sir  Fineen's  death  the 
senior  hranch  of  the  O'Driscolls  became  extinct  in 
Ireland,  and  the  majority  of  his  relatives  emigrated 
to  Spain,  the  solum  natale  of  their  ancestors. 

Another  distinguished  hranch  of  the  family  were 
the  O'Driscolls  of  Castlehaven.  Donogh  O'Driscoll, 
who  resided  there,  delivered  up  his  castle  to  the 
Spaniards  in  1601,  previous  to  the  naval  engage- 
ment in  the  harbour.  One  of  this  family  was  colonel 
of  a  regiment  in  the  army  of  James  II.,  and  Gover- 
nor of  Eingroan  Castle,  Kinsale,  which  he  bravely 
defended  against  the  renowned  Earl  of  Marlborough. 
During  the  attack  on   the  castle   three  barrels  of 

Sketches  in  Carbery,  .  105 

powder  accidentally  took  fire  at  the  gate,  and  blew 
it  up  with  about  forty  soldiers,  and  finally,  after  a 
most  heroic  resistance,  O'Driscoll  and  200  of  the 
garrison  being  killed,  the  rest  surrendered  upon 
quarter.  Abroad  many  scions  of  the  race  distin- 
guished themselves  in  a  military  capacity.  The 
Sieur  Corneille  O'Driscoll  during  the  war  of  the  suc- 
cession was  a  distinguished  officer  in  Spain,  in  1707 
and  1708,  and  Lieut  -colonel  to  the  dragoon  regi- 
-ment  of  the  famous  Count  Daniel  O'Mahoni. 

A  very  interesting  account,  written  specially  for 
the  late  Dr.  O'Donovan,  by  Eickard  O'Donovan, 
Esq.,  Cork,  Clerk  of  the  Crown,  is  included  in  the 
appendix  to  a  work  by  the  former,  styled  the  "Gene- 
alogy of  Corca  Laidhe,"  to  which  we  refer  those  who 
are  anxious  to  learn  all  minute  particulars  concerning 
the  O'Driscoll  history  and  pedigree.  It  appears 
that  the  substantial  though  ugly-looking  square 
building  near  the  river  at  Oldcourt,  which  latter 
place  derives  its  name  from  this  structure,  was  for- 
merly called  Creagh  Court,  and  occupied  by  Denis 
O'Driscoll  in  the  beginning  of  the  18th  century. 
One  of  his  descendants  living  in  Charlestown, 
America,  is  supposed  to  be  the  senior  representative 
of  this  family.'  William  Hy  O'Driscoll,  of  Stoke, 
Plymouth,  is  said  to  be  really  the  last  lineal  descen- 
dant of  the  senior  branch  of  the  O'Driscolls  in  the 
British  Isles.  The  Mount  Musick  branch  of  the 
O'Driscolls,  to  whom  the  late  Captain  Alexander 
O'Driscoll  belonged,  so  celebrated  in  Carbery  forty 
years  ago,  were  descended  from  Florence  O'Driscoll 
of  Eallyisland  (son  of  Colonel  Cornelius,  son  of 
Donoogh),  who  was  born  in  1677,  and  married  in 
1706  the  daughter  of  O'Donovan,  &c 

Close  to  South  Harbour  on  the  eastern  side,  the 

106  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

telegraph  station,  at  present  a  complete  ruin,  is  a 
prominent  object.  During  the  American  war  be- 
tween the  North  and  South  it. was  a  place  of  con- 
siderable importance  and  a  centre  of  attraction,  the 
first  spot  in  the  Old  World  from  which  the  news  of 
the  stormy  events  in  America  was  telegraphed  for 
the  information  of  millions.  A  small  steamer  char- 
tered bj  Government  was  placed  at  the  disposal  of 
the  telegraph  officials,  and  her-  occasional  presence  in 
South  Harbour  was  an  interesting  novelty  never 
witnessed  on  previous  occasions. 

"When  the  transatlantic  steamers  from  New  York 
approached  the  island,  freighted  with  news  and  des- 
patches of  such  momentous  importance,  a  scene  of  a 
most  exciting  nature  could  be  witnessed  near  the 
beach  ;  rival  crews  of  hardy  islanders  launching  their 
boats,  with  incredible  speed  and  a  keen  eye  to  busi- 
ness, and  stimulated  to  great  exertions,  as  a  golden 
prize  was  in  view — a  sovereign  being  the  reward  on 
each  occasion  for  the  boat's  crew  who  were  first  to 
reach  the  packet.  The  mails  were-'thrown  overboard 
in  a  buoyant  waterproof  case,  picked  up  quickly, 
conveyed  on  shore,  and  all  important  telegrams  with- 
out further  delay,  sent  with  lightning  speed  to  London. 

A  submarine  cable  connected  the  telegraph  station 
with  the  wires  on  the  mainland  passing  from  Cape 
to  Sherkin,  and  from  the  Abbey  Strand  on  the  latter 
island  across  the  harbour  to  Baltimore  and  so  on  to 
Skibbereen,  Cork,  Dublin,  and  London.  But  now- 
a-days  the  shrill  whistle  of  the  steam  pipe  is  no 
longer  heard  in  the  South  Harbour — the  Telegraph 
House  is  crumbling  to  decay,  the  submarine  cable 
is  a  broken  link  of  the  past,  and  no  busy  official, 
seated  at  his  solitary  desk  near  the  melancholy 
ocean  in  this  remote  little  office— not  much  larger 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  107 

than  the  tuh  of  Diogenes — electrifies  the  world  with 
his  telegrams  ahout  the  hattles,  sieges,  victories,  and 
defeats  which  were  heing  enacted  in  the  Great 
Eepuhlic  of  the  West.  "Othello's  occupation's 

A  short  distance  westward  along  the  coast  brings 
us  to  the  summit  of  the  highest  cliff  in  the  island 
(Eoile  Cahill),  and  here,  at  an  elevation  of  480  feet 
above  the  sea,  a  lighthouse  was  formerly  erected  by 
the  Corporation  for  Improving  the  Port  of  Dublin. 
It  exhibited  a  bright  revolving  light  of  21  lamps,  of 
which  seven  became  visible  every  two  minutes.  In 
clear  weather  the  light  was  seen  from  all  points  out 
to  sea  at  a  distance  of  28  nautical  miles.  Unfortu- 
nately, however,  in  foggy  weather,  owing  to  the 
high  elevation,  the  light  was  greatly  obscured  by 
cloud  and  mist,  rendering  this  very  indispensable 
lighthouse  for'  the  time  being  comparatively  useless 
to  ships _  approaching  the  land.  Consequently  the 
place  was  condemned,  the  lantern  removed,  and 
the  present  lighthouse — the  most  important  on  the 
Irish  coast — erected,  about  five  miles  from  Cape,  on' 
the  celebrated  Fastnett  Rock,  which  looks  in  the 
distance  like  the  culminating  point  of  a  submerged 
mountain,  and  on  which  rock,  in  former  times,  many 
a  shipwreck  took  place. 

The  old  lighthouse  was  constructed  with  great 
care,  and  no  expense  appears  to  have  been  spared  : 
the  building  materials  were  solely  stone  and  iron. 
The  floors  and  spiral  staircase  are  composed  of  granite 
brought  specially  from  Dublin.  The  pyramidal  and 
circular  blocks  of  granite  in  each  floor  are  so  care- 
fully and  evenly  adjusted,  as  to  resemble  a  Mosaic 
pavement.  Iron  girders,  and  stanchions  support,  and 
give  wonderful  strength  to  the  walls  and  lofts.     On, 


108  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

the  lower  story  are  rents  visible  in  the  walls  caused 
bj  lightning. 

Having  reached  the  upper  end  of  the  staircase, 
we  ascend  through  a  trap-door  to  the  flat  roof  or  plat- 
form, which  formerly  supported  the  lantern,  before 
it  was  removed  to  the  Fastnett  Lighthouse.  Here, 
elevated  at  a  height  of  nearly  500  feet  above  the  sea 
level,  we  obtain  a  panoramic  view  of  land  and  ocean 
which  is  truly  magnificent  and  sublime,  when  there 
is  no  haze  on  the  sea  or  clouds  in  the  sky  to  mar 
the  beauty  of  the  scene. 

I  have  observed  it  on  a  beautiful  day  in  the 
autumn :  not  a  sound  could  be  heard,  but  the  rippling 
of  the  tide  against  the  base  of  the  cliffs  ;  the  ocean,. 
far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  calm,  without  a  wave, 
and  shining  like  a  mirror ;  the  bright  azure  of  the 
sky  overhead  undimmed  by  a  single  cloud.  To  the 
south  the  Fastnett  (Carrigeena),  a  solitary-looking 
rock,  jutting  above  the  surface  of  the  sea,  crowned 
on  its  pinnacle  by  the  lighthouse,  which  in  the 
distance  resembles  a  "round  tower  of  other  days;" 
the  sombre  colours  of  the  rock  relieved  by  the  re- 
flected light  of  the  sun,  playing  around  its  circum- 
ference like  a  silver  circle  in  the  waters,  a  dark  picture 
in  a  beauteous  frame. 

Inland  the  scenery  is  wild  and  picturesque.  In 
the  far  west  we  descry  the  Kerry  mountains — the 
famous  Mangerton,  and  the  serried  outlines  of 
Magillicuddy's  .Reeks,  and  the  bold,  bluff  promon- 
tories which,  stretching  far  away  to  the  south-west, 
brave  the  furies  of  the  Atlantic,  To  the  east  we 
observe  the  Galley  Head,  with  its  nearly-finished 
lighthouse,  a  welcome  object  in  the  future  will  it 
prove  to  the  "  toilers  of  the  deep."  When  the  sun 
i§  setting  behind  the  mountains  the  beauteous  tint^s. 

Sketches  in  Cafbery-.  109 

of"  the  sky  "  variurn  et  mutabile  semper,"  rivalling 
those  of  the  rainbow — 

"  Brought  forth  in  purple, 
Cradled  in  vermillion," 

produce  an  effect  rarely  surpassed  by  any  region  of 
the  earth. 

A  Signal  Tower  was  erected  close  to  where  the 
lighthouse  stands  immediately  after  the  arrival  of 
the  French  in  Ban  try  Bay.  In  appearance  it  pre- 
sents the  character  of  a  fortress,  and  was  evidently 
intended,  judging  from  its  architecture,  to  serve  for 
military  purposes,  as  well  as  for  signalling.  Shortly 
after  its  erection  a  violent  storm  occurred,  and  owing 
to  its  exposed  situation,  the  tower  was  rocked  and 
shaken  so  much  by  the  wind,  that  the  lieutenant  in 
command  and  his  little  garrison  were  tempted 
strongly  to  desert  the  building  for  fear  of  being 
buried  under  the  ruins.  In  connection  with  the 
Signal  Tower  I  must  refer  to  the  Fir  Bregach 
(False  men,  An g lice).  These  were  long,  upright 
stones,  which  were  firmly  imbedded  in  the  ground, 
and  occupied  a  prominent  position  at  the  south-west 
end  of  the  island,  close  to  the  high  cliffs  which  over- 
hang the  sea.  In  order  to  scare  away  any  hostile 
force,  which  might  have  been  tempted  to  invade  the 
island,  the  very  ingenious  "ruse  de  guerre"  was 
adopted  of  clothing  these  inanimate  bodies,  each 
with  a  suit  of  scarlet  uniform,  so  that  when  observed 
from  the  sea  they  might  be  mistaken  for  a  company  of 
soldiers  on  the  alert.  They  were  placed  in  a  position 
which  they  have  maintained  undisturbed  for  the  last 
eighty  years,  having  been  planted  about  the  same 
time  the  Signal  Tower  was  erected.  There  can  be 
no  doubt  but  the  "Fir  Bregach,"  although  they 


116  Sketches  in  Carbenj. 

might  not  be  very  active  in  repelling  an  invasion, 
have  proved  most  faithful  sentries,  so  far  as  "not 
abandoning  their  post. 

There  are  some  fresh-water  lakes  in  the  south-west 
end  of  the  island,  and  one  of  them,  in  particular,  is 
deserving  of  notice ;  it  is  called  Lough  Erral,  and  is 
nearly  a  mile  in  circumference.  Its  surrounding 
shores  are  barren,  and  as  devoid  of  vegetation  as  its 
waters  are  of  fish,  reminding  us  somewhat  of — 

"  That  lake  whose  gloomy  shore 
Skylark  never  warbles  o'er." 

The  water  possesses  cleansing  properties  to  a  re- 
markable degree ;  this  is  owing  to  tbe  very  large 
quantity  of  subcarbonate  of  soda  which  it  holds  in 
solution,  as  proved  by  analysis  made  as  far  back  as 
1775,  by  Dr.  Rutty,  of  Dublin,  an  eminent  chemist 
of  that  period.     The   saponaceous  qualities  of  the 
water  are  so  strong  that  if  a  cask,  in  which  oil  has 
been  kept,  is  placed  in  the  lake  for  a  few  days, 
the  cask,  when  taken  out,  is  perfectly  clean,  and  free 
from  all  traces  of  oil.     The  islanders  formerly,  when 
flax  used  to  be  grown  on  the  island,  extensively  uti- 
lized the  water  of  Lough  Erral  for  purifying  and 
whitening  their  linen  yarns,  which  thereby  acquired 
a  very  perfect  quality  and  superior  character.     The 
coarse  friezes  which  they  also  manufactured  were 
submitted  to  a  similar  cleansing  process.    Townsend, 
in  his  "  Statistical  Survey  of  the  County  Cork,"  de- 
scribing the  rude  process  of  tucking,  which  the  female 
portion  of  the  community  were  obliged  to  adopt, 
there  being  no  tucking-mill  on  the  island,  as  there 
is  no  stream  capable  of  turning  a  wheel,   says : — 
"  The  business  of  the  field  or  the  fishery  engrossing 
the  attention  of  the  men,  the  operation  of  tucking 

Sketches  m  Carberi/.  ill 

has  devolved  on  their  fair  associates,  who  perform  it 
in  the  following  manner:  Upon  a  square  hurdle, 
to  keep  the  cloth  from  the  dirt  of  the  ground,  eight 
women  take  their  seats,  four  opposed  to  four,  at  such 
a  distance  as  that  the  extended  legs  of  one  set  just 
reach  the  drawn  up  feet  of  the  other.  The  frieze 
placed  between  is  pushed  alternately  by  each  party 
with  as  much  force  as  they  can  exert  against  the 
feet  of  the  other  until,  by  frequent  repetition  of  this 
laborious  process,  the  piece  is  sufficiently  tucked." 

The  sheep  on  Cape  were  formerly  a  peculiar  variety, 
small  in  size,  the  flesh  very  delicate  in  flavour ;  they 
had  long,  depending,  twisted  horns ;  the  wool  was 
exceedingly  fine,  a  fact  attributed  to  the  nature  of 
the  pasturage  near  the  sea.  The  houses,  or  rather 
cabins,  have  the  straw  thatching,  which  is  roughly 
laid  on,  eovered  with  an  interwoven  network  of  straw 
ropes  (soogauns),  tightly  drawn  across.  To  the  free 
ends  which  hang  over  the  eaves,  either  large  stones 
are  attached,  or  they  are  twisted  securely  around 
bolts,  firmly  imbedded  in  the  walls.  This  contrivance 
is  absolutely  necessary  to  prevent  the  roofs  being 
blown  away  by  the  fierce  gales  which  prevail  during 
the  winter  months. 

As  the  soil,  except  on  the  north  side  of  the  island, 
is  poor,  shallow,  and  unproductive,  covered  with 
heath  and  furze  and  stone  walls  in  abundance,  the 
hardy  natives,  in  order  to  procure  a  livelihood,  must 
depend  in  a  great  measure  on  the  prosperity  of  the 
fisheries  and  the  success  of  their  pilotage.  They 
cannot  now,  as  in  the  good  old  times,  supplement 
their  ordinary  mode  of  subsistence  by  a  little 
smuggling  on  the  sly,  the  landing  of  an  occasional 
contraband  cargo,  and  the  appropriation  of  the  stray 
waifs  of  the  ocean,  the  Flotsam  and  Jetsam  of  the 

\\2  Sketches  in  Carhery, 

deep,  which,  either  attracted  their  attention  out  to 
sea  or  -were  cast  up  on  the  heach  from  some  ship- 
wrecked vessel.  However,  if  such  was  the  general 
custom  in  former  times,  no  men  ought  to  he  hetter 
excused  for  having  followed  the  example  of  their 
neighbours  than  the  poor  islanders,  so  little  Messed 
with  the  gifts  of  fortune.  The  soil  on  the  north  side 
of  the  island  is  fertile  and  productive,  and  good 
crops  of  potatoes,  oats,  and  harley  are  raised  annually, 
the  land  "being  well  manured  with  seaweed  and 
sand,  and  even  sometimes,  as  a  substitute  for  guano, 
they  top-dress  the  potato  gardens  with  layers  of 
mussels — a  shell-fish  abundant  along  the  coast. 

On  the  south  side,  except  the  little  patches  between 
the  rocks,  the  land,  owing  to  its  exposed  position,  is 
barren  in  its  nature,  and  raises  little  except  crops  of 
stones  acres  of  heath  and  furze,  &c.  The  inhabi- 
tants are  very  industrious,  and  are  so  attached  to 
their  island  home,  that  Lawson  remarks,  "they  con- 
sider it  the  first  gem  of  the  sea,"  notwithstanding, 
as  he  says  in  another  place,  "the  surveillance  of 
coastguards  and  revenue  officers,  who  neither  allow 

them  to  traffic  with  homeward  bound  vessels,  as  in 

them  to  tramc  WlUi   uumewaiu.  uuuuu  vessels,  as   in 


the  days  of  their  forefathers,  nor  to  hold  intercourse 
with  contraband  traders  from  the  coasts  of  France 
and  Holland,  nor  to  manufacture  their  own  whiskey." 
He  also  naively  states  :  "  On  the  island  is  a  Roman 
Catholic  chapel,  having  a  resident  incumbent,  and, 
certainly,  this  worthy  man  must  be  the  most  extra- 
ordinary of  mortals  if  he  is  content  with  his  lot." 

Amongst  the  fauna  of  the  island,  rabbits  are  the 
most  abundant,  as  they  literally  swarm  over  the 
south-west  side.  The  peculiar  horned  sheep,  now 
almost  extinct,  and  a  small  breed  of  cattle,  were 
formerly  numerous  on  the"  island.     There   are  no 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  113 

hares  to  be  seen,  or  even  frogs.  Near  the  north  end 
of  the  island,  a  pillar-stone  (Grallaun)  may  he  ob- 
served, standing  as  a  prominent  object,  about  four 
feet  high.  In  the  centre  there  is  a  circular  aperture ; 
there  is  an  ancient  tradition  connected  ■with  it.  In 
former  times  this  was  a  trysting-stone  where  lovers 
met  to  plight  their  troth,  and  as  no  jeweller  flourished 
on  the  island,  and  engagement  rings  were  not  to  be 
obtained,  they  adopted  the  custom  of  plighting  their 
troth  by  shaking  hands  through  the  aperture.  The 
mutual  vows  of  fidelity  made  on  such  occasions  were 
scrupulously  observed.  A  certain  odour  of  sanctity 
was  attached  to  the  Gallaun  as  being  a  venerable  relic 
connected  in  some  way  or  another  with  the  worship 
of  the  Druids.  The  custom,  like  many  others,  s  ich 
as  bonfires,  &c ,  was  tinged  with  a  colouring  of  a 
pagan  age.  The  inhabitants  at  present,  however, 
are  too  enlightened  to  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  their 
ancestors  so  far  as  the  pillar-stone  and  the  ancient 
rite  attached  are  concerned. 

The  natives  of  Cape  Clear  are  distinct  in  a  great 
measure  from  the  inhabitants  of  the  mainland ;  they 
have  remained  from  time  immemorial  as  a  separate 
colony,  always  intermarrying  amongst  themselves; 
so  that  we  must  regard  them  as  amongst  the  most 
typical  specimens  at  the  present  day  of  the  old 
Milesian  race.  The  name  of  nearly  all  the  islanders  is 
O'Driscollor  Cadogan,  the  latter  being  only  a  sobriquet 
for  the  former.  Baltimore  and  Cape  were  originally 
the  stronghold  of  this  family,  the  principal  chieftain, 
O'Driscoll  More,  residing  in  Baltimore.  There  can 
be  no  doubt  but  that  they  were  the  aboriginal  race 
residing  along  the  sea-coast  of  Carbery.  The  isolated 
position  of  the  island,  and  its  difficulty  of  approach, 
have  kept  the  population  in  a  comparatively  antique 


114  Sketches  in  Garbery. 

state  and  distinct  condition  during  the  lapse  of  cen- 
turies, so  far  as  nationality  and  descent.  Irish  is 
still  the  language  spoken  by  nearly  all.  In  features 
and  complexion  they  bear  a  strong  resemblance  to 
the  Spanish  race  in  the  Basque  provinces  and  Gal- 
licia  in  the  north  of  Spain,  from  which  provinces, 
their  progenitors  migrated  to  Carbery,  and  with 
which  country  they  always  preserved  a  close  com- 
munication down  to  the  17th  century. 

Until  the  year  1710  Cape  was  a  sort  of  established 
monarchy,  an  "  Imperium  in  Imperio,"  and  an  O'Dris- 
coll — the  head  of  the  clan — was  always  styled  "King 
of  the  Island."  They  had  a  code  of  laws  handed 
down  by  tradition  from  father  to  son,  and  as  strictly 
obeyed  and  rigorously  administered  as  if  they  had 
been  drawn  up  by  a  Solon  or  Justinian.  The 
majority  have  now  become  obsolete,  not  only  in 
practice,  but  even  in  name.  The  general  punish- 
ment was  by  fine,  unless  some  grave  offence  was 
committed,  and  then  the  delinquent  was  banished 
for  ever  to  the  mainland,  which  was  looked  upon  as 
a  sentence  worse  even  than  death. 

The  climate  is  remarkably  healthy,  not  more  so 
in  the  world,  as  evidenced  by  the  longevity  of  the 
inhabitants,  their  stalwart  frames,  healthy  appear- 
ance, trivial  mortality,  and  freedom  from  disease. 
They  are  a  quiet,  peaceable,  and  industrious  people, 
and  possess  greater  gravity  of  manner,  more  ponde- 
rous bodies,  and  are  built  in  a  larger  mould  than  the  1 
more  vivacious  and  excitable  race  residing  on  the 
mainland.  Some  of  the  O'Driscolls  were  men  of 
wonderful  stature. 

A  celebrated  giant  lived  here  about  a  century  ago. 
He  was  named  Cruathur  O'Careavaun  (Cornelius 
O'Driscoll).      He  was   eight  feet    high,   stout    in 

Sketches  in  Garbery.  115 

proportion,  and  a  man  of  incredible  strength. 
Many  strange  stories  are  related  about  him 
amongst  others,  on  an  occasion  when  a  whole 
ship's  company  in  Cork  harbour  failed  to  weigh 
a  _  ship's  anchor,  even  with  the  assistance  of  a 
windlass,  the  giant,  unaided,  by  the  strength 
of  his  arms,  raised  it  easily,  to  the  great  amaze- 
ment of  the  spectators.  (Cr  eclat  Judaeits  Appella  !) 
A  short  time  before  his  death,  he  retired,  in  hermit 
style,  to  Dunanore  Castle,  where  he  died.  His 
shin  bone  used  to  be  exhibited  as  a  curiosity,  but 
is  bone-dust  now.  Some  of  his  grandchildren  still 
live  on  the  island;  and  many  of  the  natives, 
even  at  present,  by  their  large  stature  and  great 
strength  of  body,  uphold  the  credit  and  tradition 
of  their  ancestors  having  been  a  race  of  giants 
such  as  we  never  witness  in  this  degenerate  age. 

The  grave  where  the_  giant  was  buried  is  still 
pointed  out  near  Trakeiran,  within  the  precincts 
of  Kilkieran  burial  ground.  It  is  about  8|  feet 
long,  with  a  rude  uninscribed  headstone.  Popular 
tradition,  and  the  exceptionally  large  dimensions  of 
the  grave  identify  the  locality. 

A  coastguard  station  was  formerly  established 
close  to  South  Harbour,  but  it  has  not  been  occu- 
pied for  many  years. 

116  Sketches  in  Garbery, 




The  Steams,  Lough  Hyne — The  rapids,  lake,  surrounding  moun- 
tains, said  by  geologists  to  be  the  result  of  volcanic  action — Scenery 
in  the  neighbourhood — Poem  on  Lough  Hyne — Legend  about  the 
old  castle — Labhra  Longseach — Bill  Barrett's  midnight  Visit  in 
search  of  the  golden  treasure,  hidden  beneath  the  castle — Saint 
Bridget's  chapel  and  well — Pillar  stone  and  sculptured  cross — 
Story  connected  with  them — View  from  the  adjoining  eminence. 

To  the  west  of  Hare  Island,  formerly  called  Innis- 
driscoll,  lie  the  Skeams  (islands  of  St.  Keam),  which 
are  close  to  the  entrance  of  Whitehall  or  Rincolisky 
bay.    There  are  two  islands  of  this  name,  the  western 
one  being  the  smaller  of  the  two.     Situated  upon  it 
were  the  ruins  of  an  ancient  chapel,  erected  in  honour 
and  to  the  memory  of  St.  Keam,  who  is  said  to  have 
lived  in  the  5th  century.    This  St.  Keam  was  related 
to  St.  Kieran,  the  patron  saint  of  Cape.     Here,  in 
former    times,    numerous    interments    used    to   be 
made,  persons  on  the  mainland  bringing  the  remains 
of  their  deceased  relatives  to  the  island  that  they 
might  be  buried  in  the  sacred  precincts  of  the  old 
chapel,  over  which  the  memory  of  St.  Keam  had 
thrown  so  great  a  halo.     A  few  years  ago,  by  the 
undermining  action  of  the  sea,  a  portion  of  the  cliff, 
near  the  site  of  the  old  chapel,  was  detached  from 
the  mainland,  and  the  soil  being  broken  up  to  a  con- 
siderable depth  at  the  same  time,  exposed  to  view 
numerous   skulls   and  other  bones  of  persons,  the 
period  of  whose  interment  is  unknown. 

Between  Baltimore  and  Castlehaven,  about  four    .  ,. 

Sketches  in  Carter y.  117 

miles  to  the  west  of  the  latter  place,  is  situated  one 
of  the  most  beautiful  inlets  of  the  sea  along  our 
coast,  Lough  Hyne,  which,  from  the  singularity  of  its 
formation,  and  the  isolated   picturesqueness  of  its 
scenery,  .has    always-  excited   the   admiration    and 
wonder  of  visitors  and  tourists.    Approaching  Lough 
Hyne  from  the  sea,  we  first  of  all  pass  through  a  nar- 
row creek,  hemmed  in  on  either  side  by  craggy  cliffs, 
whose  barren  sides  are  almost  totally  destitute  of 
vegetation.     This  creek  expands  slightly  close  to  its 
entrance  into  the  Lough,  so  as  to  form  a  small  bay 
called  Barlogue,  at  the  west  side,  near  which  on  the 
rising  ground  is  situated  the  pretty,  snug,  and  neat 
little  coastguard  station  of  Barlogue.*     The  sandy 
bottom  of  this  creek,  which  is  covered  with  different 
specimens  of  seaweed,  in  former  years  produced  beds 
of  diminutive  oysters,  with  semi-transparent  shells, 
and  fish  within,  so  delicate  and  insinuating  in  its 
flavour  as  to  delight  the  palates  of  the  greatest  epi- 
cures that  ever  lived  since  the  days  of  Lucullus.     I 
am  sorry  to  say  that  these  welcome  tenants  have 
almost  entirely   deserted   their   former   abodes,   for 
reasons  best  known  to  themselves,  and  are  rarely 
seen  now-a-days. 

To  observe  the  narrow  strait  which  joins  Lough 
Hyne  to  the  sea  to  advantage,  the  visitor  should  pass 
through  it  in  a  boat  on  a  fine  moonlight  evening, 
when  he  may  imagine  that  he  is  rowing  through  a 
chain  o£«mall  lakes,  the  channel  alternately  widening 
and  contracting,  and  the  high,  rocky,  and  desolate- 
looking  cliffs  on  either  side  being  reflected  in  the 
water — the  whole  producing  a  much  more  agreeable 

*  This  coastguard  station  was  remoTed  a  few  yaars  ago  to  a 
neighbouring  bay  called  Ballyally,  or  Tra  le  Mo,  close  to  Lough 
Hyne — a  solitary  and  secluded  spot. 

118  Sketches  in  Carbenj. 

effect  than  when  seen  by  daylight.  Where  the 
waters  of  the  creek  join  those  of  the  lake,  is  a  narrow 
entrance,  through  which,  at  the  ebb-tide,  the  waters 
of  the  lake  rush  at  considerable  speed,  boiling, 
bounding,  and  bubbling,  against  a  stony,  shelving 
bottom,  and  forming  a  sort  of  waterfall,  famiKarly 
known  as  "  the  Eapids,"  over  which,  at  full  tide,  the 
water  is  comparatively  still,  being  then  on  a  level 
with  tbat  of  the  lake.  One  of  the  chief  amusements 
for  the  visitors  toLougb  Hyne  is  the  shooting  of  the 
Eapids  at  the  ebb  tide.  This  is  accompHshed  in  a 
strong  boat,  steered  by  an  oar.  Having  approached 
the  mouth  of  the  lake,  the  boat  is  suddenly  whisked 
into  the  rushing  tide,  and  makes  its  descent  into  the 
smoother  waters  of  the  creek  at  railway  speed,  caus- 
ing the  occupants  much  the  same  sensation  as  a  novice 
in  horse-riding  experiences  when  going  over  a  high 
jump  on  a  spirited  steed.  "Woe  betide  the  unlucky 
sight-seers,  especially  if  they  be  of  the  fairer  sex, 
should  the  boat  come  "  broadside  on,"  as  sailors  term 
it,  during  her  trip  down  the  Eapids,  as  she  would 
be,  most  probably,  capsized,  or  swamped,  and  all  her 
valuable  cargo  left  floundering  in  the  waves.  There 
is  no  fear  for  them,  however,  as  long  as  they  trust  the 
guidance  of  their  boat  to  the  steady  hand  and  keen 
eye  of  the  illustrious  Bill  Barrett,  the  most  trust- 
worthy and  experienced  boatman  along  the  coast. 

"We  must  now  enter  the  Lough  itself,  and  make  a 
few  remarks  on  that  most  interesting  locality.  If 
we  are  to  believe  geologists,  the  planet  we  now 
inhabit,  before  it  was  fitted  for  the  abode  of  man- 
kind and  assumed  its  present  condition,  was  subjected, 
on  a  grand  and  extensive  scale,  to  subterranean  con- 
vulsions and  volcanic  eruptions,  such  as  we  witness 
in  a  minor  degree  at  the  present  time  in  the  vol- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  1,19 

canoes  of  Vesuvius  and  those  along  the  western 
coast  of  South  America.  Earthquakes  have  also 
been,  at  all  periods,  prevalent  along  the  American 
coast,  especially  within  the  last  three  years,  when 
an  earthquake  unparalleled  in  modern  or  even 
ancient  times  devastated  the  greater  part  of  Peru 
and  Ecuador,  destroying  thousands  of  lives,  annihi- 
lating millions  of  property,  levelling  to  the  dust 
ancient  and  extensive  cities.  More  recently  still, 
San  Francisco  has  been  visited  by  some  severe  shocks 
of  earthquake,  and  even  our  own  Emerald  Isle  has 
been  reported  to  have  vibrated  slightly  under  the 
effects  of  one. 

However,   to   return   to   our    subject,   after   this 
wandering  excursion :  it  is  supposed  by  geologists 
that  Lough  Hyne  owed  its  existence  to  one  of  these 
subterranean  commotions,  or  volcanic  eruptions,  and 
the  reasons  assigned  are  the  following,  viz. — that  it 
would  first  of  all  be  highly  improbable  so  deep  a 
bed  (25  to  30  fathoms  in  some  places)  could  be  ex- 
cavated by  the  streams  which  enter  the  lake,  or  that 
the  action  of  the  sea  in  so  completely  land-locked  a 
place,  would  be  sufficient  to  accomplish  such  a  state 
of  things.    The  narrow  communication  with  the  sea, 
and  the  high,  precipitous  land  surrounding  the  Lough, 
some  of  which  land  is  of  a  volcanic  formation,  are 
all  in  favour  of  this  theory,  viz.,  that  in  former  ages, 
some  antediluvian  period  or  other,  I  dare  say;  what 
now  forms  the  bottom  of  the  lake  was  elevated  ground, 
and  that  this  suddenly  subsided  during  an  earth- 
quake, the  sea  at  the  same  time  running  in  through 
a  narrow  chasm,  which  opened  out  between  the  rocks 
towards  the  coast,  filled  up  the  vacuum  so  formed,  and 
called  into  existence  a  lake  which  we  now  call  Lough 
Hyne  (Irish  "Loch-ffloimhmf&eeplsikB). — Joyce. 


120  Sketches  in  Carlery. 

One  of  the  most  striking  features  in  the  scenery 
about  Lough  Hyne  is  the  high  and  solitary  mountain, 
which  rises  close  to  the  water's  edge  at  the  west  side 
of  the  lake.  This  mountain  is  called  in  Irish  "  Knock 
Camach,"  pronounced  couma  (the  crooked  hill),  or, 
more  familiarly,  The  Soldier's  Hill.  It  is  related 
that,  a  good  many  years  ago,  an  adventurous  soldier 
endeavoured  to  rob  a  hawk's  nest,  situated  on  a  high, 
projecting  rock  on  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  and 
that,  having  missed  his  footing,  he  fell  down  the 
precipice  and  was  killed,  and  thus  originated  the 
name  of  The  Soldier's  Hill.  The  best  view  of  Lough 
Hyne  may  be  obtained  from  Knock  Caima  at  its  south 
side.  The  visitor  passes  along  a  winding  path,  the 
mountains  at  either  side  being  thickly  wooded, 
and  after  a  short  and  easy  ascent  comes  to  a 
place  called  "The  Look-out,"  which  consists  of  a 
projecting  mound  from  the  hill  side,  covered  with 
a  verdant  sod,  on  which  a  person  can  recline  at 

From  this  "Look-out"  the  lover  of  scenery  obtains 
a  view,  which  even  though  limited  in  extent,  is  un- 
surpassed in  the  opinions  of  many  by  any  portion 
of  the  far-famed  Lakes  of  Killarney.  Beneath  lies 
the  Lough,  which  is  circular  in  shape,  and  about 
two  miles  in  circumference.  Near  its  mouth  is  situ- 
ated a  small  island,  'close  to  the  eastern  shore,  on 
which,  until  recently,  the  ruined  walls  of  an  old 
castle  stood.  It  belonged  to  the  O'Driscolls,  and 
was  intended  to  command  and  protect  the  entrance 
into  the  lake  from  the  sea.  It  is  about  six  years  ago 
since  the  walls  fell  down,  and  at  present  only  the  foun- 
dation of  this  old  castle  is  to  be  seen.  Between  the 
island  and  the  western  shore  the  lake  in  some  places 
has  been  ascertained  to  be  30  fathoms  in  depth.   Smith 

St.  ^^±^z*.- 

Sketches  in  Carter y.  l2l 

says  that  seals  breed  in  the  lake,  but  I  believe  this 
is  not  an  established  fact. 

To  a  person  observing  the  lake  from  "  The  Look- 
out" there  does  not  appear  to  be  any  communication 
■with  the  sea,  as  the  island  intercepts  the  view  of  the 
entrance.  A  neck  of  land  stretching  across  from 
Barlogue  towards  the  mainland  at  the  opposite  side, 
bounds  Lough  Ine  on  the  south,  and  separates  it 
from  the  sea,  which  can  be  observed  distinctly  to  a 
considerable  extent  from  Knock  Caima.  It  is  this  cir- 
cumstance which  makes  the  scenery  so  picturesquely 
beautiful  and  singular,  for  whilst  we  gaze  upon  the 
placid  waters  of  the  quiet  Lough,  scarcely  rippled 
by  a  breeze,  and  admire  the  surrounding  hills  and 
rocks,  which  seem  fashioned  by  nature  to  please 
the  eye,  we  at  the  same  time  get  a  view  of  the  wide 
Atlantic  in  the  foreground,  which  perhaps  is 
covered  with  crested  waves,  roaring  and  dashing 
themselves  into  mist  and  spray  against  the  neigh- 
bouring cliffs. 

It  is  well  worth  the  toil  to  ascend  Knock  Caima 
to  its  summit,  for  there  we  get  a  very  extensive  view 
of  the  sea  coast  stretching  away  towards  the  Mizen 
Head,  which  well  repays  our  trouble  in  climbing 
the  mountain's  side.  We  see  "  Carbery's  Hundred 
Isles"  scattered  along  the  coast,  and  in  the  distance, 
if  the  weather  be  fine  and  the  atmosphere  clear,  we 
can  observe — indistinctly,  of  course — the  mountains 
of  Kerry.  The  real  beauty  of  the  entire  view 
should  be  seen  and  not  described,  in  order  to  appre- 
ciate it  as  it  deserves. 

Intimately  connected  with  the  name  of  Lough  Ine 
is  the  memory  of  a  much- esteemed  and  deservedly- 
respected  inhabitant  of  Skibbereen,  the  late  D. 
M'Carthy,  Esq.,  of  Grlencurragh,  who  built  a  most 
picturesquely-situated    and    graceful-looking    villa 

122  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

near  the  lake,  where  lie  lived  for  many  years,  and 
contributed  greatly— so  far  as  the  art  of  man  can 
contribute  by  planting,  building,  &c. — to  increase 
the  beauties  of  this  charming  spot.  I  cannot  better 
conclude  the  present  article,  than  by  introducing  a 
poem,  written  about  twenty  years  ago,  anonymously, 
by  a  visitor  to  Lough  Ine,*  who,  in  the  choicest  and 
most  expressive  language,  paid  the  following  very 
graceful  tribute  to  the  romantic  beauty  of  this  most 
interesting  locality : — 

lough  ISE. 

(A  beautiful  salt-^ater  lake  in  the  county  of  Cork,  near  Baltimore.) 

I  know  a  lake  where  the  cool  waves  break, 

And  softly  fall  on  the  silver  sand ; 
And  no  steps  intrude  on  that  solitude, 

And  no  voice,  save  mine,  disturbs  the  strand. 

And  a  mountain  bold,  like  a  giant  of  old, 

Turned  to  stone  by  some  magic  spell, 
TJprears  in  might  his  misty  height, 

And  his  craggy  sides  are  wooded  well. 

In  the  midst  doth  smile  a  little  isle, 

And  its  verdure  shames  the  emerald's  green ; 

On  its  grassy  side,  in  ruined  pride, 
A  castle  of  old  is  darkling  seen. 

On  its  lofty  crest  the  wild  bird's  nest, 

In  its  halls  the  sheep  good  shelter  find  ; 
And  the  ivy  shades  where  a  hundred  blades 

Were  hung  when  the  owner  in  sleep  reclined. 

That  chieftain  of  old,  could  he  now  behold 

His  lordly  tower  a  shepherd's  pen, 
His  corse,  ^ng  dead,  from  its  narrow  bed 
-     With  shame  and  anger  would  rise  again. 

'Tis  sweet  to  gaze  when  the  sun's  bright  rays 
Are  cooling  themselves  in  the  trembling  wave — 

But  'tis  sweeter  far  when  the  evening  star 
Shines  like  a  tear  at  friendship's  grave. 

*  The  real  name  cf  the  writer  was  FitzJames  O'Brien,  a  solicitor, 
and  native  of  the  citv  of  Cork. 

Sketches  in  Oarbery.  123 

There  the  hollow  shells,  through  their  wreathed  cells, 

Make  music  on  the  lonely  shore, 
As  the  summer  breeze,  through  the  distant  trees, 

Murmurs  in  fragrant  breathings  o'er. 

And  the  sea-weed  shines  like  the  hidden  mines 

Of  the  fairy  cities  beneath  the  sea ; 
And  the  wave- washed  stones  are  bright  as  the  thrones 

Of  the  ancient  kings  of  Araby. 

If  it  were  my  lot  in  that  fairy  spot 

To  live  for  ever  and  dream  'twere  mine, 

Courts  might  woo  and  kings  pursue, 
Ere  I  would  leave  thee,  loved  Lough  Ine. 

The  following  interesting  legend  is  related  con- 
cerning Lough  Hyne,  -which  I  daresay  has  been 
often  told  in  connection  with  other  castles  through- 
out Ireland.  The  narrator,  Bill  Barrett,  the  "genius 
loci"  of  Lough  Hyne,  boldly,  however,  asserts  that 
this  is  the  true  and  original  seat  where  the  hero  of 
the  tale  resided,  and  I  will  accordingly  relate  as 
literally  as  possible  his  account  of  that  famous  hero 
of  romance  in  Irish  history,  known  as  "Labhra 

In  the  olden  times  a  celebrated  king,  named 
Labhra  Loingseach  lived  in  Lough  Hyne  Castle,  or 
some  other  building  occupying  the  same  site;  he  was 
a  man  of  incredible  strength,  and  ruled  the  sur- 
rounding country  with  despotic  sway.  He  possessed 
some  of  the  attributes  which  pagan  writers  confer 
upon  Pan,  and  to  complete  his  character,  he  had  two 
ears  of  an  ass  on  his  head,  like  the  celebrated  Midas, 
king  of  Phrygia,  which  blemish  the  wicked  old 
tyrant  carefully  concealed  from  the  knowledge  of  his 
subjects,  as  he  was  very  vain  of  his  personal  appear- 
ance, and  greatly  devoted  to  the  fair  sex. 

It  was  Labhra's  custom  to  have  himself  shaved 
once  a  week,  and  he  compensated  the  barber  on  each 

124  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

occasion  by  hanging  him  to  a  tree  outside  the  castle, 
for  fear  he  might,  at  an  unguarded  moment,  divulge 
the  secret  about  the  ass's  ears.  On  one  occasion, 
however,  the  last  of  the  barbers  requested  as  a  dying 
favour,  before  he  was  executed,  that  he  might  have 
a  final  interview  with  his  mother.  The  request  being 
granted,  by  way  of  revenge  he  whispered  sotto 
voce  to  the  ground  (and  very  probably  to  his  mother 
also)  that  Labhra  had  the  ears  of  an  ass. 

The  barber  was  hanged,  but  in  due  course  of  time 
a  reed  grew  over  the  spot  where  the  mysterious 
whisper  was  uttered.  A  passer-by  on  some  occasion 
or  other,  one  who  had  a  musical  taste,  happened  to 
cut  the  reed,  and  made  a  "  jocaun  "  (a  sort  of  penny 
whistle)  of  it :  he  essayed  a  tune  upon  the  jocaun, 
but  the  only  tune  that  it  could  play  was — 

"  Dha  cluais  assail  ar  Labhra  Loinseach." 
"  Two  ears  of  an  ass  on  Labhra  Loinseach." 

Immediately  all  the  reeds  in  the  lake,  the  trees  in 
the  woods,  and  even  the  stones  in  the  fields,  joined 
in  one  and  the  same  universal  chorus,  and  the  lam- 
pooned Labhra  was  so  overwhelmed  with  shame  and 
confusion  that  he  was  obliged  to  fly  the  country, 
and  was  last  observed  driving  a  splendid  carriage 
and  four  horses,  with  golden  shoes  and  gold  mounted 
harness,  over  the  surface  of  the  water  near  Barlogue ; 
hence  the  name  of  the  latter  place  (the  top  of  the 

In  a  remote  corner  of  the  castle,  under  a  flag- 
stone, a  crock  of  gold  is  supposed  to  have  been  buried 
deep  in  the  ground  at  some  remote  period  :  such  is 
the  tradition  amongst  the  peasantry.  Our  informant, 
Bill  Barrett,  touchingly  describes  how,  influenced  by 
the  desire  of  suddenly  amassing  a  fortune,  and  with 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  125 

full  belief  in  the  stories  handed  down  from  the  old 
times,  he  approached  the  spot  at  midnight  upon  a 
certain  occasion,  armed  with  a  spade  and  shovel. 

It  was  a  fine  moonlight  night.  As  he  came  near 
the  exact  locality  where  the  golden  store  lay  hidden, 
he  observed  sitting  quietly  on  the  flagstone  a  large 
black  cat,  with  a  very  sinister  expression  of  coun- 
tenance, mewing  and  spitting  in  a  most  spiteful 
manner.  Suddenly,  to  his  surprise  and  horror,  the 
cat  was  metamorphsed  into  a  black  dog  as  big  as  a 
cow,  and  every  bark  he  gave  made  the  waters  of  the 
lake  terribly  agitated  and  the  surrounding  moun- 
tains re-echo  with  a  dismal  sound,  while  at  the 
same  time  Bill's  body  shook  with  terror,  and,  horror- 
stricken,  he  was  riveted  to  the  spot.  Out  of  the 
dog's  mouth  and  eyes  issued  long  streams  of  un- 
earthly fire,  and  the  very  walls  of  the  castle  vibrated 
and  tottered  as  if  they  would  bury  poor  adventurous 
Bill  under  the  ruins.  Like  .ZEneas,  in  the  "iEneid," 
he  might  have  said,  "  Obstupui  steteruntque  comae 
et  vox  faucibus  hsesit." 

Suddenly  the  dog  bounded  at  one  jump  from  the 
castle  into  the  lake,  and  the  waves  he  raised  were  so 
high  that  they  almost  reached  the  sky,  and  nearly 
drowned  the  treasure-seeker. 

Bill,  as  soon  as  he  recovered  from  the  "  wakeness" 
that  came  over  him,  immediately  cut  his  stick,  and 
returned  home  "  a  wiser  but  a  sadder  man,"  almost 
dead  with  fright :  he  fell  sick,  and  did  not  recover 
from  the  effects  of  his  midnight  rambles  for  three 
months ;  and  all  the  wealth  of  the  world,  he  says, 
would  not  induce  him  to  revisit  the  castle  at  midnight. 
He  still  verily  believes  that  the  black  cat  was  the 
departed  spirit  of  Labhra  Longseach,  guarding  the 
hidden  treasure,  and  that  the  same  cat  can  only  be 


126  Sketches  in  Carberu. 

shot  by  a  steel  bullet  of  some  undiscovered  shape ; 
on  which  occasion  there  will  be  free  access  to  the 
crock  of  gold.  He  also  asserts  (a  strange  coinci- 
dence) that  shortly  after  the  above-mentioned  adven- 
ture the  castle  walls  fell  down,  owing  to  the  severe, 
shaking  they  got  from  the  jump  of  the  dog  into  the 

In  the  foregoing  legend  we  can  clearly  trace  the 
great  similarity  between  the  stories  related  of  Labhfa 
Longseagh,  by  Keating  and  others,  including  Bill 
Barrett,  and  that  of  Midas,  king  of  Phrygia,  in 
works  on  heathen  mythology,  both  as  regards  the 
golden  treasures,  and  the  ass's  ears.  It  would 
seem  as  if  the  fabulous  anecdote  about  Midas  had 
been  engrafted  on  the  stock  of  Irish  legendary  lore, 
so  close  is  the  affinity  between  both ;  the  name  of 
the  Irish  hero  of  romance,  Labhra,  being  merely 
substituted  for  the  Asiatic  king  ;  all  the  other  cir- 
cumstances being  nearly  similar  in  their  details — 

"  Mutate  nomine  de  te  fabula  narratur." 

It  is  not  at  all  improbable  that  the  Milesians  or 
Phoenicians  originally  brought  the  legend  with  them 
from  Asia  Minor  into  Ireland,  where  it  became 
adopted  and  naturalised — hence  the  permanence  of 
the  tradition  related  by  the  peasantry  of  the  south, 
very  few  of  whom  were  acquainted  with  the  story  of 
Midas  and  the  ass's  ears. 

The  readers  of  ancient  classics  are  familiar  with 
the  amusing  and  interesting  fable  about  Midas,  king 
of  Phrygia,  in  Asia  Minor,  how  Bacchus  for  his 
hospitality  to  Silenus  granted  him  his  wish  that 
everything  he  touched  should  be  converted  into 
gold.  How  afterwards  his  imprudent  avarice  was 
nearly  the  cause  of  starving  him  to  death,  and  Bac- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  127 

chus,  taking  pity  on  him,  allowed  Midas  to  wash  him- 
self in  the  river  Pactolus,  whose  sands  were  turned 
into  gold,  and  the  spell  was  hroken.  Subsequently  the 
foolish  Midas  adjudged  Pan  to  be  a  superior  musician 
to  Apollo,  whereupon  the  latter  was  so  indignant, 
that  he  changed  his  ears  into  those  of  an  ass,  to  show 
his  stupidity  and  ignorance  of  true  melody.  The 
story  further  relates  how  one  of  Midas's  domestics, 
who  used  to  cut  his  hair,  whispered  to  a  hole  in  the 
ground  which  he  had  dug  that  the  king  had  the 
ears  of  an  ass.  At  the  completion  of  a  year  a  number 
of  reeds  grew  over  the  spot  where  the  whisper  had 
been  made,  "  Sylvse  habent  aures."  The  reeds  when 
agitated  by  the  wind  revealed  the  secret,  and  uttered 
the  same  sounds  as  that  which  had  been  buried, 
"  sub  auras,"  viz.,  that  Midas  most  undoubtedly  had 
the  ears  of  an  ass.  In  "  Ovid's  Metamorphoses," 
Fab.  v.,  Book  si.,  the  story  of  Midas  is  very  graphi- 
cally and  beautifully  told. 

On  the  south-west  side  of  the  lake,  close  to  the 
Rapids,  and  in  a  secluded  and  sequestered  nook,  are 
the  ruins  of  a  small  chapel  called  (Teampleen 
Breeda)  dedicated  to  St.  Brigid.  It  has  all  the 
appearances  of  being  very  ancient ;  the  walls  are  of 
rough,  unhewn  stone,  placed  together  without  the 
use  of  mortar,  whilst  the  miniature  window  of  the 
chancel  is  a  mere  loophole.  The  dimensions  are  not 
more  than  15  to  20  feet  long,  by  8  feet  wide,  and 
the  enclosed  area  of  the  aisle  is  covered  with  rude 
headstones  and  flags,  under  which  the  mortal  re- 
mains of  a  past  generation  lie  interred.  There  is  no 
road  or  pathway  leading  to  the  chapel,  and  the  tra- 
dition is  that  the  congregation  came  or  stole  to  their 
devotions  in  boats  up  the  creek  from  the  neighbour- 
ing places,  perhaps  at  times  with  fear  and  trembling. 

128  Sketches  in  Garbery. 

We  must  presume  that  not  a  tithe  of  them  could  be 
accommodated  within  the  walls. 

Close  to  the  little  chapel,  on  a  verdant  knoll,  may 
be  seen  a  broken  pillar-stone,  supported  between  two 
headstones,  with  an  ancient  cross  sculptured  on  it 
near  the  base.  The  tradition  is  that  this  pillar-stone 
was  always  looked  upon  by  the  people  as  a  relic  of 
sanctity,  some  saintly*person  being  buried  near  the . 
spot,  or  having  engraved  the  cross  upon  the  stone. 
However,  on  some  distant  occasion,  an  adventurous 
and  fool-hardy  coastguardsman  determined  to  put 
the  matter  to  the  test ;  so  he  had  the  Gothic  audacity 
'  to  remove  the  relic  to  ..his  own  house  during  the 
night ;  next  morning,  however,  it  was  in  its  original 
site  again.  Nothing  daunted  he  again  removed  it, 
and  dropped  it  into  the  centre  of  the  lake ;  the  fol- 
lowing day  the  stone  again  resumed  its  former  situa- 
tion near  the  chapel.  Enraged  beyond  measure,  he 
vowed  its  destruction,  and  taking  a  sledge-hammer 
with  him  he  made  a  most  savage  attack  upon  the 
unoffending  object  of  his  wrath;  but,  as  "Bill 
Barrett"  asserts  in  the  most  positive  terms,  although 
he  broke  the  pillar  stone  in  two,  if  he  was  hammer- 
ing away  until  the.  day  of  judgment  he  could  not 
injure  that  portion  of  the  stone  on  which  the  cross 
was  sculptured.  The  coastguardman  immediately 
left  the  country,  and  was  shortly  after  this  occurrence 
drowned.  Such  is  the  popular  version  of  the  story 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Lough  Hyne. 

A  short  but  steep  ascent  from  Teampleen- 
Breeda  brings  us  to  Tobar-Breeda,  St.  Brigid's 
"Well — a  small  hollow  in  the  solid  rock — at  the 
margin  of  which  may  be  observed  an  impression  in 
the  rock  said  to  be  caused  by  St.  Brigid's  knees ; 
which  impression  was  kept  up  by  the  fact  of  nume- 

Sketches  in  Garbery.    ■  129 

rous  devotees  selecting  the  place  as  a  suitable  locality 
for  prayer.  This  well  in  former  times  was  much 
frequented  on  May  Eve  by  pilgrims.  From  a  neigh- 
bouring elevation  we  obtain  a  very  charming  view 
of  Lough  Hyne,  calmly  reposing  in  its  sheltered 
bed,  at  the  foot  of  the  bold  and  picturesque  Knock- 
Couma,  and  fthe  solitary  nook,  where  the  ruins  of 
the  chapel  are  almost  concealed  from  view  by  tangled 
briars  and  waving  ferns;  the  creek,  winding  its  un- 
dulating course  to  the  sea,  is  on  our  right  hand, 
whilst  over  the  summit  of  an  adjoining  cliff  we  can 
get  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  quaint-looking  "  Stags," 
surrounded  by  the  deep  and  dark  blue  ocean. 


130  Sketches  in  Curler y. 


Coast  line  from  Lough  Hyne  to  Castlehaven — Tithe  riots — Nayal 
engagement  in  Castletownsend  Harbour,  between  the  Spanish 
forces  under  Don  Pedro  de  Zuibar  and  the  English  under 
Admiral  Levison,  on  the  6th  December,  1601 — Battle  of  Kinsale — 
Departure  of  O'Donnell  from  Castlehaven  for  Spain — Mr.  Froude's 
discovery  about  the  real  cause  of  O'Donnell's  death — Interesting 
relic  of  the  O'Donnells  in  the  Jtoyal  Irish  Academy — Bemarkable 
Cathair  and  ruins  of  Clochan  on  Knockdromma  Hill,  near  Castle- 
townsend— Beautiful  view  from  it,  &c. 

From  Lough.  Hyne  to  Castlehaven  the  coast  line 
presents  a  great  variety  of  scenery,  and  a  ride  along 
the  coast  hetween  both  places  affords  some  very  fine 
sea  views.  The  land  is  chiefly  rocky  and  barren, 
interspersed  here  and  there  with  verdant  cultivated 
patches,  the  most  prominent  object  being  the  promon- 
tory of  Toe-head.  Numerous  small  bays  indent  the 
land,  and  give  a  picturesque  character  to  scenery 
which  would  be  otherwise  extremely  wild.  "We 
notice  the  following  inlets  starting  from  Lough 
Hyne  : — Tralispeen  (the  smooth  strand),  Tragomina 
(the  strand  of  the  oak  tree),  formerly  called  Fennis- 
cove,  Toe-head  Bay,  which  runs  in  and  forms  Trale- 
goch.  Here  occurred  the  celebrated  "Tithe  Eiots" 
in  1823,  in  which  a  Mr.  Morrit  prominently  figured, 
and  which  were  greatly  instrumental  in  causing  the 
abolition  of  that  system  of  taxation  throughout  Ire- 
land. The  immediate  cause  of  "The  Eiots"  was 
the  distraining  of  five  sheep  for  a  tithe  of  five  shil- 
lings, which  were  bought  afterwards  by  Mr  Morrit 
under  the  distress  for  a  shilling  each.     (See  Moore's 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  131 

"Memoirs  of  Captain  Bock")  A  collision  took 
place  between*  the  police  and  people,  attended  with 
loss  of  life  on  both  sides.  After  passing  the  bold 
rocky,  and  precipitous  promontory  of  Toe-head,  we 
come  to  Sandycove,  formerly  called  Torbay,  near 
which  is  Traghcarta,  aDd  finally  we  enter  the 
harbour  of  Castlehaven,  which  nest  commands  our 
particular  attention. 

Castlehaven  was  anciently  called  Grlanbarrahane, 
after  St.  Barrahane,*  who  was  the  patron  saint  of 
-  the  place,  and  the  ruins  of  the  chapel,  which  was 
dedicated  to  him,  may  still  be  observed  not  far  from 
the  ancient  castle,  on  the  west  side  of  the  harbour 
and  situated  near  a  deep,  rocky  glen,  which  in  con- 
junction with  the  name  of  the  saint,  has  given  origin 
to  the  name  Grlenbarrahane.  As  far  back  as  the 
beginning  of  the  17th  century  we  find  it  was  styled 
Cuan-an-Chaislean  by  the  Irish,  Castlehaven  by  the 
English,  and  Porto  Costello  by  the  Spanish,  all 
which  terms  have  the  same  signification.  We  will 
imagine  ourselves  for  a  moment  carried  back  to  the 
early  years  of  the  17th  century,  a  period  when  the 
usually  quiet  waters  of  Castlehaven  were  the  scene 
of  _  busy  strife  and  contention,  and  we  will  at  once 
proceed  to  discuss  the  interesting  and  stirrin°-  events 
which  made  Castlehaven  a  memorable  and  important 
place  even  at  that  remote  time. 

Those  who  are  conversant  with  Irish  History  will 
remember   that  in  the  year   1601,  in  the  time  of 
Queen  Elizabeth,  when  Tyrone  and  O'Donnell  in 
the  north,  and  the  Earl  of  Desmond  in  the  south 
had  raised  the  standard  of  revolt,  a  large  force  of 

*  In  some  ancient  Irish  manuscripts  St.  Barrahane  is  mentioned 
as  a  prophet,  one  of  his  prophecies  being  that  the  Danes  or  Esterlings 
would  invade  Ireland, 


132  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

Spaniards,  amounting  to  5,000  men,  landed  in  Kin- 
sale,  on  the  23rd  September,  under  the  command 
of  Don  Juan  d'Aquila,  in  order  to  assist  the  Irish 
chieftains,  who  had  been  anxiously  awaiting  for  some 
months  back  this  welcome  addition  to  their  forces. 
The  Spaniards  seized  on  Kinsale  and  Rincorran,  a 
castle  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  harbour,  but 
were  soon  closely  besieged  by  the  Lord  Deputy 
Mountjoy  and  the  Lord  President  Sir  George  Carew. 
On  the  28th  November,  1601,  a  reinforcement  of 
six  Spanish  ships,  with  2,000  men  on  board,  and 
stores,  ordnance,  and  ammunition  in  abundance, 
'  arrived  in  Castlehaven,  under  the  command  of  Don 
Pedro  de  Zuibar,  upon  which  occurrence  all  the 
country  from  Kinsale  westward  declared  for  the 
Spaniards.  Donough  O'Driscoll,  who  was  Lord  of 
Castlehaven  at  the  time,  delivered  up  his  castle  to 
them,  and  his  example  was  followed  by  the  chief- 
tains in  Baltimore,  Bearhaven,  &c,  to  whom  presents 
and  munitions  of  war  were  sent  by  the  Spanish  com- 
mander, and  titles  and  posts  of  command  bestowed 
upon  them.  "When  news  reached  Kinsale  that  the 
Spaniards  had  landed  in  Castlehaven,  Admiral 
Levison,  who  was  in  command  of  the  naval  squadron 
in  the  former  place,  immediately  sailed  out  of  the 
harbour,  and  proceeded  to  Castlehaven,  where  he 
arrived  on  the  6th  December,  1601,  and  attacked 
the  Spanish  Admiral.  During  the  engagement  he 
drove  the  ships  of  the  Admiral,  Yice- Admiral,  and 
two  others  on  shore,  but  having  gone  aground 
himself,  owing  to  contrary  winds,  he  lay  exposed 
for  twenty-four  hours,  to  a  battery,  which  had  been* 
erected  by  the  Spaniards,  on  shore.  During  this  time 
he  received  300  shot  in  his  masts,  hull  and  rigging, 
but,  the  wind  taking  a  favourable  change,  he  warped 

Sketches  in  Carberp.  1.33 

his  vessel  out  of  the  harbour,  and  returned  to  Kinsale 
in  a  very  shattered  condition. 

In  the  meantime  O'Donnell,  who  was  on  his  way 
from  the  north  to  relieve  the  Spaniards,  hy  a  series 
of  rapid  marches  and  counter-marches,  managed  to 
evade  the  Lord  President's  army,  and  taking  a  cir- 
cuitous route  joined  the  Spaniards  at  Castlehaven, 
and  then  marched  towards  Kinsale,  and  comhined 
his  forces  with  those  of  Tyrone  and  Tyrrell,  with 
whom  he  held  a  council  of  war.  On  the  23rd  De- 
cember, 1601,  the  battle  of  Kinsale  took  place,  be- 
tween the  English  forces,  under  Lord  Mountjoy,  on 
the  one  side,  and  the  Spanish  and  Irish  army, 
under  Tyrone,  O'Donnell,  and  Tyrrell  on  the  other, 
ending  in  the  total  defeat  of  the  latter,  who  left 
1,200  dead  on  the  field.  A  day  or  two  after  this, 
fresh  supplies  arrived  at  Castlehaven  from  Spain, 
but,  having  heard  the  news  of  the  fall  of  Kinsale, 
they  returned  to  Spain  on  the  6th  January,  1602, 
taking  with  them  O'Donnell,  Kedmund,  Burke,  &c. 

On  the  2nd  January,  1602,  Don  Juau  d'Aquila, 
the  Spanish  commander,  surrendered  Kinsale  to  the 
English.  The  terms  of  capitulation  were  as  fol- 
lows : — "  That  the  Spaniards  should  evacuate  Kin- 
sale, Baltimore,  Castlehaven,  and  Bearhaven,  that 
they  should  have  liberty  to  carry  into  Spain  all  their 
arms,  ammunition,  treasure,  &c,  and  that  they  should 
be  provided  with  shipping  and  victuals  to  transport 
them  if  they  paid  for  the  same." 

Of  the  Irish  chieftains  who  accompanied  the 
Spaniards  on  their  departure  from  Castlehaven,  by 
far  the  most  illustrious  was  Hugh  Roe  O'Donnell 
(Ked  Hugh  O'Donnell),  Lord  of  Tyrconnell.  We 
refer  those  who  would  wish  to  study  the  early  life, 
adventures,  exploits,  and  checkered  career  of  this 

134  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

renowned  chieftain,  to  the  "  Annals  of  the  Four  Mas- 
ters," and  the  "Lives  of  Illustrious  and  Distinguished 
Irishmen,"  hy  James  Wills,  A.  M.,  M.  E.  I.  A. ;  at 
the  same  time  we  feel  inclined  to  diverge  somewhat 
from  the  direct  line  of  narrative,  whilst  following 
the  fortunes  of  O'Donnell  into  Spain,  and  take  a 
glance  at  the  closing  scenes  in  the  life  of  this  indomi- 
tahle  warrior.  In  the  words  of  the  historian  :  "On 
the  6th  day  of  the  month  of  January,  1602,  O'Don- 
nell, with  his  heroes,  took  shipping  at  Cuan-an- 
Caslain  (Castlehaven),  and  the  hreath  of  the  first 
wind  that  rose  wafted  them  over  the  hoisterous 
ocean."  They  landed  on  the  14th  of  the  same 
month  in  the  harbour  near  Corunna,  a  celebrated 
city  in  the  province  of  Grallicia,  in  Spain.  This  city 
has  been  made  more  memorable  still  in  modern 
times  by  the  battle  fought  in  its  neighbourhood, 
between  the  French  and  English,  in  January,  1809, 
when  the  renowned  general  Sir  John  Moore  was  mor- 
tally wounded. 

Near  Corunna  was  situated  the  tower  of  Breogan, 
built  in  former  times  by  Breogan,  the  grandfather 
of  Milesius.     It  was  from  this  place  the  Milesians 
had  set  out,  according  to  tradition,  on  their  expe- 
dition to  Ireland,  where  they  conquered  the  Tuatha 
de  Danaans,  1300  years  before  the   Christian  era. 
O'Donnell  looked  upon  this  as  an  omen  of  success, 
having  landed  in  the  country  of  his  ancestors.     He 
was   received   with   great  honour   by   the  Earl   of 
Caraceno,  a  powerful  Spanish  nobleman,  who  pre- 
sented him  with  a  thousand  ducats  (a  very  respect- 
able present  at  the  time),  and  conducted  him  with 
great  state  to  Zamora,  in  Castile,  where  the  king 
of  Spain,  Philip  III.,  was  then  residing.     O'Don- 
nell  was  well   received   by  Philip,   who   granted 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  135 

him  all  the  requests  he  made,  and  promised  to  fit 
out  another  expedition  for  Ireland  in  his  favour. 
The  king  desired  him  to  return  to  Corunna,  and 
await  there  until  the  expedition  was  ready  for 
departure.  In  the  meantime  news  reached  Spain 
of  the  capture  of  Dun  hoy,  and  the  overthrow  of  the 
Irish  leaders  in  Munster. 

For  eight  or  nine  months  O'Donnell  remained  at 
Corunna,  daily  expecting  to  hear  from  the  king, 
hut  Philip  had  either  forgotten  his  promise,  or  failed 
to  fulfil  it,  thinking  the  chances  of  success  remote 
and  improhahle.  The  restless  and  energetic  soul  of 
O'Donnell  could  no  longer  hrook  delay ;  he  set  out 
for  Yallodolid,  where  the  king  was  holding  court 
at  the  time,  hut  he  did  not  live  to  reach  the  end  of 
his  journey ;  he  fell  ill  at  Simaneas,  ahout  two  miles 
from  Yallodolid,  and  died  there  on  the  20th  Sep- 
temher,  1602,  in  the  29th  year  of  his  age,  nine 
months  after  his  arrival  in  Spain.  His  hody  was 
conveyed  to  the  king's  palace,  in  Vallodolid,  in  a  four- 
wheeled  hearse,  surrounded  by  all  the  great  officers  of 
state,  andhe  was  interredin  the  monastery  of  St.  Fran- 
cis, in  the  Chapter,  with  great  pomp  and  ceremony. 

One  of  the  most  interesting  relics  in  the  Royal 
Irish  Academy  is  the  ancient  casket  which  con- 
tains a  fragment  of  a  copy  of  the  Psalms  written 
by  St.  Columbkille.  The  casket  consists  of  three 
cases,  the  outer  one  of  which  is  of  solid  silver,  beauti- 
fully designed,  and  studded  over  with  precious  gems. 
The  enclosed  manuscript,  which  is  thirteen  centuries 
old,  was  styled,  "  The  Cathach  or  Battle  Book  of  the 
O'Donnells,"  and  was  carried  in  the  van  by  them 
when  going  into  battle.  There  was  a  prophecy 
current  that  as  long  as  "The  Cathach"  remained 
uncaptured  the  O'Donnells  could  not  sustain  defeat. 



Sketches  in  Carbery. 

O'Donnell's  biographer,  who  was  also  his  secretary 
and  constant  companion,  gives  the  following  quaint 
description  of  his  character  : — 

"  Hugh  Roe  O'Donnell,  on  the  very  first  year  of 
his  government,  was  popular,  familiar,  joyous,  pro- 
gressive, attentive,  devastating,  invasive,  and  des- 
tructive ;  and  in  these  qualities  he  continued  to 
increase  every  year  to  the  end  of  his  days."  In  the 
"Annals  of  the  Four  Masters,"  the  writer,  when  re- 
ferring to  his  death,  breaks  forth  in  a  most  mournful 
strain,  and  passes  a  warm  and  eloquent  eulogium  on 
the  virtues  and  warlike  qualities  of  the  renowned 
Hugh.  Father  Mooney,  the  Franciscan,  who  was 
contemporary  with  O'Donnell,  thus  describes  his 
personal  appearance:  "He  was  of  middle  height, 
ruddy,  of  comely  grace,  and  beautiful  to  behold. 
His  voice  was  like  the  clarion  of  a  silver  trum- 
pet," &c. 

Mr.  Froude,  that  acute  discoverer  of  the  missing 
links  of  history,  whilst  poring  over  the  ancient 
documents  in  the  State  Paper  Office,  detected  an 
interesting  manuscript,  one  of  the  "  lettres  de  cachet" 
which  formerly  passed  between  Carew  and  Mount- 
joy,  two  leading  actors  in  some  of  the  tragedies 
of  a  bygone  age.  This  historical  skeleton,  which 
had  been  lying  concealed  from  the  public  gaze  up 
to  the  present,  beneath  the  accumulated  dust  of  cen- 
turies, wrapt  in  mystery  and  buried  in  oblivion,  Mr. 
Froude  has  brought  to  light  and  exposed  in  all  its 
grim  and  unseemly  proportions  in  his  work  entitled 
"  The  English  in  Ireland,"  from  which  I  beg  leave 
to  quote  the  following  extracts  regarding  the  real 
truth  of  the  sad,  untimely,  and  tragic  fate  of  the 
fearless  Red  Hugh. 

Preliminary  Discourse,  page  63  : — "  Hugh  ODon- 

Sketches  in  C artery.  137 

nell,  who  had  gone  to  Spain  for  help,  died  at  the 
castle  of  Simancas,  possibly  by  poison."  Foot  note — 
"On  October  9th,  1602,  Sir  Greorge  Carew  writes  to 
Lord  Mountjoy  :  '  O'Donnell  is  dead ;  the  merchant 
that  bringeth  me  the  news  I  do  trust,  and  I  do 
think  it  will  fall  out  he  is  poisoned  by  James  Blake, 
of  whom  your  lordship  hath  been  formerly  acquainted. 
At  his  coming  into  Spain  he  was  suspected  by 
O'Donnell,  because  he  had  embarked  at  Cork,  but 
afterwards  he  insinuated  his  access,  and  O'Donnell 
is  dead.  He  never  told  the  President  in  what 
manner  he  would  kill  him,  but  did  assure  him  it 
should  be  effected'"  ("  Calendar,  1602," pp.  350,51, 
Froude).  The  foregoing  story  too  truly  verifies  the 
old  Latin  aphorism :  "  Inter  arma  leges  silent." 

To  return  to  Castlehaven.  After  the  departure 
of  the  Spaniards  and  O'Donnell  in  1602,  Captain 
Roger  Harvey,  to  whom  a  commission  had  been 
granted  for  the  government  of  Carbery,  by  Lord 
Deputy  Mountjoy,  entered  the  harbour  in  command 
of  the  Royal  forces,  and  took  possession  of  Castle- 
haven on  the  12th  February,  1602.  When  the 
Spaniards  had  evacuated  the  castle,  according  to  the 
treaty  made  at  the  capitulation  of  Kinsale,  the 
O'Driseolls  (the  original  owners),  who  looked  upon 
themselves  as  the  rightful  heirs,  took  possession  of 
the  place,  and  when  Harvey  arrived  the  Spaniards 
were  assaulting  and  undermining  the  castle  in  order 
to  get  it  into  their  own  hands  again.  The  appear- 
ance of  the  English  forces  on  the  stage,  however, 
altered  the  state  of  affairs ;  the  O'Driseolls  evacuated 
the  castle  immediately,  delivering  it  up  to  the 
Spaniards,  who  had  lost  two  soldiers  during  the  as- 
sault, and  they  in  their  turn  surrendered  to  Harvey, 
who  took  quiet  possession  of  the  castle.    Never  per- 



Sketches  in  Carhery. 

haps  was  the  old  axiom  so  forcibly  illustrated,  that 
"Fortune  is  a  fickle  goddess,"  more  especially  in 'war- 
like affairs. 

Castlehaven,  after  the  departure  of  the  O'Driscolls, 
became  the  property  of  the  Audley  family.  George 
Tbuchet,  Lord  Audley,  Governor  of  Utrecht,  who 
had  a  command  in  the  English  army  during  the 
siege  of  Kinsale,  and  who  was  severely  wounded 
during  the  battle  which  took  place  in  its  vicinity, 
was  created  first  Earl  of  Castlehaven,  in  1616,  by 
letters  patent  in  the  time  of  James  I.  The  title  was 
enjoyed  by  this  family  until  the  year  1777,  when  it 
was  abolished.  In  1645  the  castle  was  occupied  by 
the  Parliamentary  forces,  under  the  command  of 
Captain  "William  Salmon.  At  this  period  one  of  the 
most  prominent  men  in  the  country  was  the  Earl  of 
Castlehaven,  who  was  appointed  by  general  consent 
commander-in-chief  of  the  Irish  Royalist  forces. 

Castletownsend,  the  original  seat  of  the  Townsend 
family  in  Ireland,  was  anciently  called  Sleugleigh 
(Smith),  which  was  built  originally  by  and  belonged 
to  the  M'Carthys.  The  old  castle,  the  ruins  of  which 
can  be  observed  within  the  demesne,  was  attacked 
in  the  year  1690  by  some  of  James  the  Second's 
troops,  under  the  command  of  O'Driscoll.  They 
were  repulsed,  and  their  commander  slain ;  but 
shortly  afterwards  Mac  Fineen  O'Driscoll,  with  a 
force  of  400  men,  attacked  the  place,  and  compelled 
the  garrison  to  surrender ;  subsequently  Colonel 
Colliford  attacked  O'Driscoll,  and  retook  the  castle. 

The  scenery  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Castlehaven 
is  picturesque  and  diversified  in  its  character.  It 
can  be  seen  to  most  advantage  in  the  autumn  of  the 
year,  when  the  foliage  of  the  trees  has  assumed  a 
varying  tint  from  green  to  russet  brown,  and  when 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  139 

all  nature  has  put  on  a  soft,  rich,  and  mellow  appear- 
ance. From  the  eminence  on  which  Rahine  Castle 
stands  we  ohtain  a  charming  panoramic  view  of 
Castlehaven  harbour  and  the  surrounding  scenery. 
In  the  distance  out  to  sea,  facing  the  entrance  of  the 
harbour,  those  quaint,  peculiar-looking  rocks,  "  The 
Stags,"  open  on  our  view,  reminding  one  forcibly  of 
the  extensive  ruins  of  an  ancient  tower  or  castle,  or 
calling  to  mind  at  times  the  description  we  read  in 
legendary  tales  of  the  "phantom  ships  at  sea." 
The  coast  line  on  the  west  side  of  the  harbour  is 
broken  in  its  continuity  by  several  points  of  land, 
which  jut  out  into  the  sea.  Toe-head  Point  forms 
the  extremity  of  the  land  lying  some  distance  out- 
side the  harbour's  mouth,  which  is  bounded  on 
the  west  by  the  next  point,  called  Traghcarta.  Be- 
tween Toe-head  and  Traghcarta  the  sea  runs  in,  and 
forms  a  small  open  bay  called  Sandycove  or  Tor- 
bay.  The  cliffs  in  this  bay  are  high,  and  furnished 
with  numerous  caves,  the  entrance  to  which  is  gene- 
rally low  and  circular ;  internally,  however,  they  are 
excavated  to  a  considerable  height,  and  run  in  for 
some  distance.  When  a  boat  enters  within  the 
gloomy  recesses  of  the  cavern,  if  there  be  a  "  swell 
on"  outside,  the  sea  rising  up  closes  the  orifice 
almost  entirely,  at  the  same  time  raising  the  boat 
up  towards  the  roof,  and  leaving  the  visitors  for 
awhile  in  nearly  complete  darkness.  All  these  caves 
are  frequented  by  pigeons  and  sea  fowl  in  great 

Off  Traghcarta,  near  the  harbour's  mouth,  lies 
Horse  Island,  which  divides  the  entrance  into  two 
channels,  the  eastern  one  of  which  is  used  by  vessels 
drawing  ten  feet  of  water  and  upwards.  This  island 
is  the  property  of  Thomas  Somerville,Esq.,  D.L.  The 


140  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

herbage  on  it,  according  to  Smith,  was  considered  to 
have  great  virtue,  in  restoring  to  condition  diseased 
and  impoverished  horses.  The  Squince  Island,  in  the 
parish  of  Myross,  was  also  celebrated  for  producing 
a  similar  kind  of  herbage.  Between  Traghcarta  and 
the  Drishane  Point  the  sea  takes  a  gradual  sweep, 
forming  Castlehaven,  or  Glenbarrahane  Bay,  as  it 
was  anciently  called. 

Tbe  historical  associations  connected  with-  this 
place  have  been  discussed,  and  it  may  not  be  amiss 
now  to  give  a  descriptive  account  of  the  locality. 
Close  to  the  sea  beach  are  the  ruins  of  Grlenbarrahane 
Castle,  built  by  the  O'Driscolls.  Although  it  has 
braved  the  "  battle  and  the  breeze"  for  nearly  three 
centuries,  the  walls  are  still  in  good  preservation ; 
the  east,  north,  and  south  walls  are  standing,  the 
western  one  has  fallen  down.  At  the  south-west 
corner  some  years  ago  a  spacious  and  handsome  hall- 
door  of  nicely  cut  freestone  was  standing,  but  this 
has  also  disappeared.  The  western  wall  is  in  a  tot- 
tering condition  at  present,  and  shakes  and  rocks 
most  ominously  with  every  strong  blast  of  wind.  A 
long  chimney  runs  through  the  whole  length  of  the 
wall  from  top  to  bottom,  and  in  the  summer  affords  a 
sheltered  retreat  to  a  large  colony  of  bees.  Adjoin- 
ing this  wall  is  a  portion  of  a  side  building,  which 
was  formerly  attached  to  the  castle.  At  some  dis- 
tance from  the  foundation  an  arched  floor  of  stone 
stretches  across  from  one  side  of  the  castle  to  the 
other,  dividing  it  into  two  stories,  which  are  now 
bare  and  lonely,  tenanted  only  by  the  fern,  moss, 
and  lichen.  A  short  distance  from  the  castle,  and 
close  to  the  beach,  are  situated  the  graveyard  and 
the  remains  of  the  chapel  of  St.  Barrahane,  consist- 
ing of  a  small,  triangular  wall,  the  eastern  end  of 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


the  chapel,  which  must  have  been  of  diminutive 
proportions,  and  not  of  much  architectural  beauty : 
there  is  a  low,  narrow  archway  in  the  centre  and  at 
the  bottom  of  the  wall.  The  graveyard  is  small  in 
size :  it  is  the  original  burying-place  of  the  Townsend, 
Atteridge,  and  Somerville  families. 

An  air  of  solemn  silence  and  quiet  repose  hangs 
over  this  lonely  and  sequestered  glen,  with  its  ruined 
castle  and  solitary  graveyard,  filled  with  crumbling 
monuments  and  grass-grown  graves.  How  different 
must  have  been  the  scene  in  ages  past,  when  the 
clamour  of  war  and  shout  of  battle  which  rang  round 
O'Driscoll's  fortress,  made  Glenbarrahane  re-echo 
again  ;  or,  when  in  calmer  and  less  troubled  times, 
the  congregation  knelt  in  prayer  within  the  walls  of 
the  ancient  chapel,  so  picturesquely  situated  near 
the  sea ;  but  these  days  are  gone,  and  we  can  now 
look  with  interest  and  advantage  on  the  relics  and 
ruins  of  the  past. 

The  deep,  rocky  glen,  which  runs  inland  from  the 
sea  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  towards  the  rectory  of 
Castlehaven,  is  a  miniature  Dargle  in  appearance  ; 
it  is  wooded  on  both  sides,  and  there  is  a  pathway 
on  the  north  side  leading  to  the  rector's  house.  A 
narrow,  shallow,  murmuring  stream  runs  through 
the  bosom  of  the  glen,  hollowing  out  for  itself  a 
rocky  bed  and  tortuous  course,  and  forming  here 
and  there  clear  limpid  pools  and  tiny  cascades ; 
having  passed  close  to  the  graveyard,  it  finally  sinks 
into  the  sand  on  the  beach,  and  disappears  from 
view.  Close  to  the  stream  on  the  south  side,  and 
but  a  short  distance  from  the  graveyard,  is  situated 
the  Holy  Well,  sacred  to  the  memory  of  St.  Barra- 
hane :  whatever  may  have  been  its  former  condition, 
it  is  insignificant-looking  and  neglected  at  present. 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 

An  old  holly  tree  overshadows  the  well,  its  branches 
being  thickly  covered  with  creeping  ivy,  and  gaily 
festooned  with  white  and  parti-coloured  rags  in  pro- 
fusion, which  chronicle  the  numerous  visits  of  local 
pilgrims  to  this  secluded  spot ;  and  certainly  a  more 
appropriate  place  of  prayer  for  saint  or  sinner  cannot 
well  be  imagined.  The  memory  of  the  patron,  St. 
Barrahane,  the  holy  well,  the  murmuring  stream, 
the  solitary  glen,  the  ancient  graveyard,  the  ruined 
chapel,  and  the  sea  breaking  gently  on  the  beach, 
all  lend  their  combined  influence — 

To  form  a  scene  where  nature  loves  to  dwell, 
And  breathe  her  spirit  o'er  the  lonely  dell. 

In  ancient  times,  when  smuggling  was  an  every- 
day occurrence,  the  hamlet  of  Grlenbarrahane  carried 
on  a  flourishing  trade  in  the  contraband  line  with 
the  coast  of  Spain.  In  those  days  also  (that  is  about 
a  century  ago)  a  linen  manufactory  was  established 
at  Killehangill.  However,  like  many  others  of  a 
similar  nature  throughout  the  country,  it  has  fallen 
to  decay  for  many  years.  The  eastern  boundary  of 
Castlehaven  harbour  is  formed  by  Eeen  Point,  or 
Galleon  Point,  as  it  is  sometimes  called,  which  forms 
a  bluff,  rocky  promontory.  It  was  here,  during  the 
wars  of  1601,  that  the  Spaniards  intrenched  them- 
selves upon  the  high  ground  commanding  the  harbour, 
and  from  this  they  bombarded  Admiral  Levison's 
ship  when  she  went  aground.  The  Spanish  intrench- 
ment,  resembling  an  ancient  rath,  is  still  to  be  seen  ; 
and  quite  close  to  it  are  pointed  out  numerous  little 
mounds  of  earth,  the  head-stones  almost  covered  by 
the  soil,  where  lie  the  remains  of  the  Spaniards  who 
had  fallen  in  action  or  died  of  disease.  The  country 
people  are  under  the  impression  that  it  is  the  resting- 

Sketches  in  Carbery, 


place  of  the  Danes.  At  the  extremity  of  Been  Point 
are  situated  the  remains  of  one  of  the  ovens  used  by 
the  Spaniards:  they  consist  at  present  of  a  pit  in  the 
ground,  surrounded  by  fragments  of  a  circular  wall. 
The  view  from  Eeen  Point  up  the  harbour  and  out 
to  sea  is  extensive  and  well  worth  seeing.  The  har- 
bour of  Castlehaven,  from  its  entrance,  which  is  about 
half  a  mile  across,  runs  inland  a  distance  of  three 
miles.  The  channel  is  bold  and  deep,  the  average 
depth  of  water  in  the  harbour  being  from  fourteen 
to  thirty  feet,  and  suited  for  vessels  drawing  ten 

About  midway  up  the  harbour  are  situated  on  the 
western  shore,  on  the  declivity  of  a  hill,  the  village 
and  seat  of  Castletownsend.  Adjoining  the  latter 
are  the  ruins  of  the  castle,  the  original  seat  of  the 
Townsend  family,  to  which  allusion  has  already  been 
made.  Facing  Castletownsend  at  the  opposite  side 
stand  the  ruins  of  Eahine  Castle,  built  by  the 
O'Donovans.  Close  to  the  castle  a  narrow  sand  spit 
projects  out  into  the  water  from  the  beach,  and  this 
separates  the  lower  half,  called  The  Harbour  proper, 
from  the  upper  part,  which  is  called  the  Eineen 
Eiver,  and  which,  taking  a  winding  course  about 
one  mile  and  a  half  long,  terminates  near  Eineen 
Mills  in  a  ml  de  sac  at  Pekeen  na  Mara  Bridge  (the 
extremity  of  the  sea),  on  the  Skibbereen  and  Myross 
road ;  it  is  properly  an  estuary  of  the  sea,  being  salt 
water,  but  is  styled  a  river  owing  to  its  winding 
course  and  narrow  channel.  On  the  west  side,  at 
the  head  of  this  estuary,  is  situated  Eineen  House, 
the  seat  of  J.  H.  Swanton,  Esq.,  of  modern  construc- 
tion, but  one  of  the  most  picturesquely  situated 
houses  in  Carbery ;  the  grounds  are  laid  out  with 
great  taste  and  skill,  and  the  view,  when  the  tide  is 

144  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

in,   from  Pekeen  na  Mara  Bridge,  is   extremely 

Townsend,  in  his  work  on  the  "  County  of  Cork," 
gives  the  following  very  graphic  description  of  the 
scenery  along  the  upper  harbour  from  Castletowns- 
end  to  Bineen  : — 

"  The  demesne  of  Castletownsend,  which  embraces 
both  sides  of  the  upper  Harbour,  or,  as  it  is  commonly 
called,  the  Eiver,  possesses  a  diversified  richness  of 
scenery,  of  which  the  pencil,  not  the  pen,  can  give 
an  adequate  idea.  The  river,  alternately  contracting 
and  expanding  its  winding  channel,  now  coJLLects 
into  a  narrow  strait,  now  spreads  into  an  expansive 
lake.  The  hills,  which  rise  from  its  shores  at  either 
side — sometimes  rocky  and  abrupt,  and  sometimes 
with  more  gradual  acclivity — are  for  the  most  part 
thickly  wooded ;  the  form  of  their  summits,  differing 
in  character,  corresponds  in  variety  with  the  lower 
grounds — some  of  them  bold,  rocky,  and  majestic ; 
others  of  an  interesting  appearance,  though  less 
strongly  marked.  The  harbour  of  Castletownsend, 
with  its  venerable  castle,  a  large  island  at  its  mouth, 
many  bold  projections  of  rocky  coast,  and  the  ocean, 
immeasurably  extended  beyond  them  all,  present 
themselves  in  different  points  of  view  from  parts  of 
the  grounds.  Indeed,  one  of  the  most  singular 
beauties  of  the  place  is  the  perpetual  change  of 
prospect  which  almost  every  change  of  situation 

The  upper  harbour  serves  as  a  sort  of  reservoir, 
which  carries  off  into  the  sea  the  drainage  from  the 
adjacent  country ;  numerous  brooks  and  rivulets — 
some  of  which  during  the  winter  rains  become  swol- 
len into  pigmy  torrents,  and  which  drain  the  super- 
fluous water  of  the  surrounding  land — run  down  the 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  145 

declivities  of  the  hill  sides,  and  discharge  their  waters 
into  this  estuary.  On  the  west  side  of  the  harhour 
on  a  high  eminence,  wooded  to  the  top  and  overlook- 
ing the  demesne  and  harhour,  a  rude  heap  and  arch- 
way of  stones,  called  the  Nelson  Monument,  may  be 
observed.  It  was  erected  shortly  after  the  battle  of 
Trafalgar,  to  commemorate  that  event,  by  the  sailors 
of  a  sloop  of  war  stationed  in  Castlehaven  at  the 
time.  An  inscription,  detailing  the  cause  and  date 
of  its  erection,  was  engraved  on  a  slab  at  the  base 
of  the  monument;  but  time  and  exposure  to  the 
weather  have  managed  to  efface  the  letters  most 

Since  the  visit  of  the  Spaniards  in  the  commence- 
ment of  the  17th  century,  perhaps  no  event  down 
to  the  present  time  has  created  more  excitement 
amongst  the  inhabitants  than  the  visit  of  a  large 
herd  of  whales,  which  ran  into  Castlehaven  during 
the  winter  of  1855,  one  of  the  severest  winters  on 
record  in  this  country.  They  forced  their  way  up 
the  Eineen  river,  but—the  tide  receding  left  the 
greater  number  floundering  on  the  mud-banks.  The 
leader  of  the  flock  was  harpooned  near  the  harbour's 
mouth  by  the  late  T.  Atteridge,  Esq.,  of  Castle- 
townsend,  but,  instead  of  forcing  his  way  out  to 
sea,  he  steered  his  course  up  the  river  towards  Eineen 
(almost  the  entire  herd  following  in  his  wake  to  the 
number  of  about  fifty),  towing  the  boat  after  him  at 
railway  speed.  The  leader  measured  twenty-five 
feet  in  length.  The  whales  were  of  a  species,  small 
in  size,  called  the  round-headed  Eorpoise  or  Caaing 
whale  (Phocaena  Melas).  The  people  from  the 
country  round  assembled  in  large  numbers,  and  with 
hatchets,  harpoons,  pikes,  and  any  weapons  they 
could  seize  on,  soon  despatched  their  captives :  how- 


146  Sketches  in  Carter y. 

ever,  the  amount  of  oil  obtained  proved  inconsider- 
able, as  the  blubber  was  not  very  abundant,  and  the 
people  were  not  well  versed  in  the  mode  of  extracting 
the  oil. 

Townsend,  in  his  work,  alludes  in  very  flattering 
terms  to  the  proprietor  of  Castletownsend  in  his  time 
— Richard  Townsend,  Esq.,  who  represented  the 
county  Cork  in  Parliament  during  the  early  years 
of  the  present  century.  It  appears  that  he  was  instru- 
mental in  organizing  improvements,  and  endeavoured 
to  develop  the  trade,  and  to  add  to  the  importance 
of  Castletownsend  in  many  ways. 

The  present  village  of  Castletownsend  occupies 
the  declivity  of  a  hill,  which  slopes  down  to"  the 
harbour  at  an  angle  of  about  25  degrees,  the  ascent 
of  which  is  no  easy  task,  unless  for  a  person  in  robust 
health :  it  is  a  veritable  Sleepy  Hollow,  and  some  of 
the  houses  present  a  venerable  and  moss-grown  appear- 
ance which  entitle  them  to  a  place  in  a  work  on 
antiquities.  The  surrounding  scenery  needs  no 
comment:  it  is  the  ne plus  ultra  of  the  charming  and 
picturesque — there  are  a  few  nice  villas  and  well- 
cultivated  gardens  in  the  neighbourhood.  The 
Domain  House  ("The  Big  House"),  the  seat  of 
the  Townsends,  is  a  modern  building ;  the  previous 
structure  was  nearly  burnt  to  the  ground  acci- 
dentally in  1858.  The  present  mansion  is  a 
plain-looking  structure  outside,  comfortable  and 
commodious  within ;  of  a  mixed  style  of  architec- 
ture ;  the  architect  had  an  eye  more  to  the  useful 
than  the  ornamental,  or  picturesque ;  as  the  view 
from  the  house  is  on  a  rather  limited  scale — viz.,  a 
circumscribed  portion  of  the  domain,  and  a  bird's- 
eye  peep  at  the  Harbour. 
Close  to  the  village  of  Castletownsend,  a  short 

Sketches  in  Carbcrp.  147 

distance  from  the  high  road,  on  a  hill  called  Knock  - 
dromma,  we  observe  a  very  perfect  specimen  of  the 
stone  fort  or  "  cathair,"  'which  presents  some  very- 
interesting  features,  and  is  well  worthy  of  a  visit. 
Ascending  to  the  summit  of  the  hill,  after  a 
short  walk,  we  reach  an  elevated  circumscribed 
plateau,  completely  isolated  and  distinct  from  the 
surrounding  hillocks,  and.  occupied  by  the  remains 
and  underground  -chambers  of  the  "  cathair.5'  A 
circular  wall  of  uncemented  flat  stones  is  seen 
erected  around  the  edge  of  the  plateau ;  this  wall 
is  about  320  feet  in  circumferenc^5>10  feet  thick,  and 
about  8  feet  high.  The  present  proprietor  of  the 
land,  T.  Somerville,  Esq.,  D.L.,  Drishane,  has 
endeavoured  to  preserve  the  structure  in  as  complete 
a  manner  as  possible.  The  outer  wall,  which  had 
nearly  fallen  down,  he  has  built  up  again  with  the 
original  materials,  so  as  to  restore  it  more  or  less  to 
its  pristine  proportions. 

At  the  eastern  side  of  the  enclosure  there  is  a  gap 
through  the  wall  flanked  on  the  south  by  a  pillar- 
stone,  on  the  surface  of  which  an  ancient-looking 
cross  is  engraved.  On  the  adjoining  side  of  this 
entrance  there  is  a  hollow  recess  in  the  thickness  of 
the  wall :  for  what  purpose  it  was  intended  is  doubt- 
ful. Lying  on  the  ground,  close  to  the  entrance,  is 
a  large  stone  of  irregular  shape,  covered  witr/about 
twenty  cup-shaped  depressions,  evidently  of  an  arti- 
ficial character.  It  seems  strange  what  they  were 
intended  to  represent — a  sort  of  antiquarian  puzzle. 
Another  stone  discovered  formerly  in  the  vicinity 
had  the  cup-shaped  hollows  joined  to  each  other  by 
narrow  grooves  so  as  to  resemble  dumb-bells  in 
shape.  In  the  centre  of  the  area  within  the  circular 
outer  wall  a  confused  heap  of  stones  was  formerly 



148  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

piled  together.  On  removing  these  the  foundations 
of  four  side  walls  -were  brought  to  view,  (enclosing  a 
portion  of  ground  about  20  feet  square,  which  seems 
to  have  been  roughly  flagged.  The  debris  must 
evidently  have  been  part  and  parcel  of  some  ancient 
stone  building  ("clochan")  with  the  usual  bee-hive 
shaped  stone  roof. 

At  the  south-west  angle  of  this  enclosed  central 
space  there  is  a  square-headed  doorway  with  a  lintel 
on  the  top,  a  flag  beneath,  and  rough  walls  at  either 
side :  this  leads  by  a  narrow  passage  sloping  down- 
wards and  inwards  (and  just  sufficiently  capacious 
to  admit  an  adult  in  the  recumbent  posture)  into  a 
dark,  gloomy  chamber,  excavated  out  of  the  solid 
rock.  The  latter  is  of  an  irregular  oval  shape,  12 
feet  long,  4  feet  wide,  and  about  3^  feet  high ;  the 
walls  approximate  overhead,  and  it  is  roofed  over 
by  large  Hat  stones,  close  to  the  surface  of  the  soil. 

Near  the  entrance  leading  into  chamber  No.  1, 
and  communicating  with  the  latter,  is  a  circular 
aperture,  barely  sufficient  to  admit  of  a  forcible  pas- 
sage on  all  fours,  through  which  we  gain  admission 
into  chamber  No.  2  ;  this  chamber  is  also  excavated 
out  of  the  solid  rock :  it  is  7  feet  4  inches  long, 
4  feet  9  inches  wide,  and  3  to  4  feet  high,  and 
somewhat  oven-shaped.  We  observe  a  flag-stone  in 
the  roof,  through  which  is  a  circular  opening,  a  sort 
of  air  hole  or  ventilator,  that  would  lead  us  to  be- 
lieve the  chambers  were  intended  as  places  of  retreat 
for  living  beings.  No.  3  chamber,  which  is  of  an 
irregular  oval  shape,  is  joined  to  No.  2  by  a  circular 
opening  through  the  rock ;  it  is  11  feet  6  inches 
long,  and  4  feet  wide.  Near  the  western  end  is  a 
ventilating  shaft  or  chimney,  the  entrance  to  which 
is  blocked  up  by  rough  stones:  this  circumstance 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  149 

would  also  strengthen  our  belief  as  to  these  strange 
subterranean  dens  having  been  utilized  as  human 
habitations  in  some  remote  age,  more  especially 
when  the  remains  of  the  stone  house  or  clochan, 
which  we  have  already  alluded  to,  are  discovered  in 
such  close  proximity  and  intimate  union  with  the 
subterranean  passages.  One  seems  to  have  been  the 
ante-room,  and  the  other  the  basement  story.  The 
date  of  their  construction  must  be  of  very  remote 
origin,  belonging  to  a  pre-Christian  era  most  pro- 
bably. Certainly  the  inhabitants  of  these  gloomy 
chambers  on  Knockdromma,  whether  Firbolgs, 
Tuatha  de  Danaans,  or  Milesians,  had  no  very 
advanced  or  elevated  ideas  about  either  domestio 
comforts  or  architectural  progress ;  in  this  respect, 
however,  I  dare  say  they  were  on  a  level,  if  not 
superior,  to  the  majority  of  the  Celtic  and  Teutonic 
tribes  of  the  time  in  which  they  flourished. 

The  visitor  to  Knockdromma,   no    matter    how 
actively   his   antiquarian    tastes   may   be   engaged, 
cannot  fail,  however,  to  be  greatly  impressed  with 
the  very  beautiful  and  charming  view  he  obtains  of 
the  surrounding   sceneiy.      Between   the  eminence 
on  which  we  stand  and  the  sea,  the  landscape  pre- 
sents a  most  picturesque  appearance,  diversified  and 
enlivened  by  bright-looking  verdant  nooks,  and  shel- 
tered spots,  sparkling  in  the  sunshine — oases  in  the 
wilderness  of  rocks,  projecting  so  prominently  above 
the  surface — alluvial  deposits  washed  down  into  their 
present  position  from  the  hill  sides,  which  they  have 
deserted,  and  well  repaying  a  careful   cultivation. 
The  dull,  monotonous  brown  colour  of  the  rocks  is 
relieved  in  a  great  degree  also  by  the  purple  heather, 
the  golden  tufted  furze,  and  the  white    spray-like 
blossoms  of  the  fragrant  hawthorn,  and  the  breeze 


150  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

blowing  in  from  the  ocean  is  exhilarating  srnd  re- 
freshing, laden  as  it  is  with  the  perfume  of  thousands 
of  wild  flowers.        t 

The  coast  line  is  singularly  beautiful.     A  wide 
expanse  of  ocean  is  before  us  to  the  south,  limited 
by  the  distant  horizon,  bounded  on  the  east  by  the 
projecting  peninsula  of  the  Galley  Head  (Dundeide). 
Towards  the  west  the  most  prominent  object  is  the 
hill  above  Toe  Head,  named  Beann  Hill,  whose  sullen 
lowering  brow  is  generally  surmounted  by  a  canopy 
of  light,    fleecy   clouds,   its    sombre-looking    sides 
enveloped  in   graceful  folds  of  white  vapoury  mist, 
through  which  we  can  faintly  descry  each  dark  and 
rugged  feature  of  the  promontory.    Away  far  inland, 
towards  the  west,  we  observe  the  extensive  chains  of 
mountains  which  stretch  as  a  gigantic  barrier  be- 
tween the   adjoining  confines  of  Cork  and  Kerry. 
At  sunset  the  scene  is  one  which  can  never  be  for- 
gotten— the  sun  sinking  to  rest  in  a  flood  of  aureate 
light — a    monarch    decked    in    all    the    regalia    of 
royalty,  encircled  by  golden-fringed  clouds,  brilliantly- 
coloured,  outriv ailing  in  lustre  the  Tyrian  purple  or 
the  sparkle  of  the  precious  gem — 

"  And  as  I  watch  the  line  of  light  that  plays 
Along  the  smooth  wave  tow'rd  the  burning  west, 
I  long  to  tread  that  golden  path  of  rays, 
And  think  'twould  lead  to  some  bright  isle  of  rest." 

I  have  selected  some  passages  from  a  poem 
entitled,  "Lines  descriptive  of  Castlehaven,"  with 
the  permission  of  the  writer,  and  I  regret  that  want 
of  space  prevents  my  including  all  the  verses,  which 
display  both  taste  and  talent. 

"There'i    many   a   fair  enchanting^  scene    on    Erin's  rock-bound 
And  'mong  the  loveliest,  I  ween,  this  tranquil  spot  can  boast 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


A  touching  beauty  all  its  own,  a  magic  grace  so  rare, 
So  calm,  so  silent,  and  so  lone,  and  oh .'  so  passing  fair. 

"  Embosom'd  deep  amid  high  hills,  verdant  and  foliage  crown'd; 
Adown  which  ripple   sparkling  rilta  with  soft  and  murmuring 
sound."  <         r 


"  On  either  side  a  little  bay, 
Majestic  cliffs,-bare,  bold,  and  grey, 
Their  tall,  fantastic  forms  display, 
Pierced  deep  with  many  arched  caves, 
Worn  by  the  ocean's  lashing  waves." 

"An    ancient  graveyard  lies   beside,  all  filled  with    grass-grown 

Near  to  the  ever-murmuring  tide.   With  cadence  sweet  the  waves, 
In  their  low,  soothing  monotone  a  peaceful  requiem  sing, 
Which  seems  half-music  and  half-moan,    so  weird   and  sad  a 


"  Close  to  a  white  and  pebbly  strand,  a  ruined  castle  old, 

In  mournful  majesty  doth  stand — O'Driscoll's  lordly  hold." 

"  'Hong  all  the  keeps  which  owned  their  sway  on  shore  or  sea-girt 
And  many  castles  proud  had  they,  this  wears  the  saddest  smile. 
What  old,  historic  mem'ries  cling,  like  ivy,  round  the  walls  ; 
And  o'er  the  days  a  halo  flings,  when  chieftains  trod  those  halls  ; 
And  listened  to  the  harp's  sweet  sound,  while  banquets  rich  were 

spread ; 
The  ruby  wine  passed  freely  round,  both  guest  and  poor  were  fed. 
And  fair  forms  flitted  here  and  there,  and  eyes  shone  full  of  glee, 
And  gallant  chiefs  led  ladies  forth  in  dance  right  joyously. 
While  Irish  musio,  wit  and  song, 
'Made  time  fly  speedily  along, 

And  gladdened  all  the  merry  throng." 
*  *  *  * 

"Those   days  have  vanished  like  a  dream,  long  dreamed  in  the 
shadowy  past, 
Its  music  now  's  the  sea  bird's  scream,  or  the  wild  and  moaning 

Which  nightly  whistles  thro'  the  doors,  with  ghostly,  elfin  sound, 
A  plaintive  elegy,  that  soars  its  winding  stairs  around. 
The  wild  bird  is  the  only  guest 
Which  now  within  those  walls  doth  rest, 
And  safely  builds  her  airy  nest 
IJpon  the  turret's  lofty  crest. 



Sketches  in  Carbery. 

"Nature  has  shed  with  lavish  hand  her  varied  beauties  round 
O'er  this  enchanting  fairy  land.     On  every  side  abound 
The  softest  charms  of  sea  and  shore,  of  sylvan  glade  and  dell 
The  song  of  birds,  the  billow's  roar;  both  hill,  and  dale,  and  fell, 

/And  cliff,  and  cove,  and  bay  as  well, 
And  giant  trees  that  stoop  to  lave 
Their  branches  in  the  clear,  blue  wave 
*  _         *  *  * 



Sketches  in  Carbery. 



Myross — The  O'Donovans — Baunlaghan— Smith's  account  of  the 
Dadagh  Scene  at  Blarney  Castle — History  of  the  Clancahill  or 
senior  branch  of  the  O'Donovans — The  Mealagh  river — Castle  Dono- 
van— A  condensed  account  of  the  O'Donovans'  genealogy  down  to 
the  beginning  of  the  present  century— Castle  Ivor — Lough  Cluhir 
and  the  legend  about  Ivor — John  Collins  of  Myross,  a  brief  account 
of  his  life — Myross  continued — The  Cistercian  Abbey  of  Carrigilehy 
— The  old  fishing  hamlet,  and  the  wreck  of  the  smuggled  cargo  of 
brandy — Squince  House,  seat  of  the  Clanloughlin  O'Donovans — 
Shipwreck  at  Blind  Harbour — Dean  Swift  and  the  "Carberise 
Eupes" — "Harrington's  Lights,"  1832 — Mysterious  appearance  at 
Union  Hall — Letters  on  this  wonderful  occurrence  from  a  writer 
in  the  New  Monthly  Magazine,  and  Doctor  Donovan,  senior,  of 

The  parish,  of  Myross  forms  an  elevated  obtuse 
peninsula,  bounded  on  the  east  by  Glandore  har- 
bour, on  the  west  by  Castletownsend  harbour,  on 
the  south  by  the  sea,  and  on  the  north  by  a  line 
drawn  from  Shepperton  to  Leap.  Its  ancient  name 
was  Garry,  the  Irish  for  garden.  It  was  so  called, 
as  the  soil  was  more  fertile  in  its  qualities  than  any 
other  part  of  "West  Carbery.  Myross  is  a  place  re-  ' 
plete  with  interest,  as  several  relics  of  antiquity 
may  be  observed  there,  and  as  no  less  a  personage 
than  Dean  Swift  himself  took  up  his  residence  there 
for  six  months,  and  commemorated  his  sojourn  by  a 
poem  ("  Eupes  Carberise  "),  to  which  we  will  refer 
further  on. 

Mrs.  and  Mr.  S.  C.  Hall,  in  their  charming  work 
entitled  "Ireland:  its  Scenery,  Character,  &c."  inform 
us  "  A  tower  near  Castletownsend  is  pointed  out  as 

154  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

the  place  where  the  Dean  composed  this  poem. 
It  is  now  a  complete  ruin,  being  merely  a  shell  of  a 
turret  overgrown  with  ivy,  but  commanding  a  beauti- 
ful prospect  of  the  harbour,  and  over  the  sea."  The 
tower  which  flanked  the  old  castle  on  its  eastern  side 
still  exists ;  the  walls  are  thickly  enveloped  in  ancient 
ivy  ;  it  stands  as  a  solitary  relic  of  the  ancient  forta- 
lice  within  the  Castletownsend  demesne.  Eock 
Cottage  at  Union  Hall,  near  Glandore,  and  Squince 
House  in  Myross,  are  also  mentioned  as  being  the 
places  where  Swift  wrote  his  "  Eupes  Carberise." 

At  the  north-west  corner  of  the  parish,  near 
Eineen,  is  situated  Bawnlahan,  which  formerly  was 
the  principal  seat  of  the  O'Donovan  family  in  Car- 
bery,  after  Castledonovan.  Its  original  name  was 
Banleathan,  which  means  in  Irish  a  broad  field  or 
enclosure,  where  cattle  were  generally  confined. 
Portions  of  the  old  walls  which  enclosed  this  place 
are  standing  still ;  the  greater  part,  however,  have 
fallen  down.  In  the  old  feudal  times,  when  castles 
and  fortified  dwellings  studded  the  surface  of  the 
country,  and  when  the  various  tribes  and  families 
adopted  what  is  often  styled : 

"  The  good  old  rule,  the  simple  plan, 
That  they  may  take  who  had  the  power, 
And  they  may  keep  who  can," 

predatory  incursions  by  one  chieftain  into  another's 
territories  were  frequent  occurrences,  leading  in  most 
cases  to  retaliation,  and  nearly  always  to  fighting 
and  bloodshed,  so  that  a  chronic  state  of  internecine 
strife  and  rivalry  was  kept  up.  Neighbouring  chief- 
tains preyed  on  each  other's  resources,  acknowledging 
no  law  but  that  which  they  maintained  by  the  sword 
and  the  right  of  conquest. 

Sketches  in  Carlery.  155 

Smith  gives  the  following  account  of  one  of  those 
forays,  which  I  introduce',  as  it  refers  particularly  to 
one   of  the  ancient  chieftains,  an   ancestor  to  the 
O'Donovan  of  Bawnlahan : — "  Clancarthy,  Mac  Car- 
thy  Eeagh,  and   O'Donovan,  having  joined  their 
forces,  went  into  the  county  of  Limerick  to  plunder, 
as  was  the  custom  of  former  times.     They  brought 
a  considerable  prey  to  the  castle  of  Blarney,  the  seat 
of  Clancarthy,  who-  was  for  having  all  the  cattle 
drove  into  his  own  bawn,  without  sharing  the  spoil, 
and  in  this  manner  he  had  served  MacCarthy  Eeagh 
before,  who  then  lived  at  the  castle  of  Kilbrittain, 
and  who,  on  this  occasion,  called  upon  O'Donovan  to 
join  him,  that  he  might  assist  him  if  Clancarthy  did 
not  share  the  booty.   O'Donovan  immediately  opposed 
the  driving  in  of  the  cattle  without  dividing  them, 
whereupon   a   contest   ensued.      Clancarthy,   being 
thrown  down  by  O'Donovan,  had  his  weapon  drawn 
intending  to  kill  his  antagonist;  but  O'Donovan,  per- 
ceiving his  design,  wrenched  it  from  him,  and  with 
it  slew  Clancarthy  on  the  spot,  and  divided  the  spoil 
with  Mac  Carthy  Eeagh.     It  is  not  certainly  known 
when  this  event  happened,  but  the  instrument,  with 
this  tradition  relating  to  it,  is  time  out  of  mind  in  the 
family.    It  was  a  class  of  weapon  of  ancient  Irish  ori- 
gin, called  the  dadagh,  and  was  somewhat  similar  to 
the  Highland  dirk.    This  weapon  is  supposed  to  come 
originally  from  the  Spanish  Miquelets,  from  whom, 
according  to  antiquarians,  the  Milesian  Irish  derived 
them,  and  afterwards  handed  them  over  to  the  Scots." 
We  find  that  the  title  of  O'Donovan  of  Castle- 
donovan  and  Bawnlahan,  was  adopted  by  the  chiefs 
of  Clancahill  (O'Donovans)  about  A.  D.  1640,  when 
Donnell   III.,    O'Donovan    tenth   in    descent   from 
Crom,  adopted  the  title.   He  had  two  manors  attached 


15(5  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

to  Ms  territories,  that  of  Castledonovan  in  Drimo- 
league,  comprising  67  ploughlands,  and  the  manor  of 
Kahine,  in  Myross.  Here  it  will  be  necessary  to 
make  a  digression,  and  go  back  to  the  12th  and  13th 
centuries,  and  offer  some  brief  remarks  on  the  Carbery 
of  that  period,  in  order  to  obtain  a  clue  to  the  dis- 
tribution of  this  family,  and  properly  understand 
the  history  of  after  events. 

The  ancestor-  of  all  the  septs  of  the  O'Donovan 
family  in  the  baronies  of  Carbery,  and  of  several  others 
in  Leinster,  was  Crom  O'Donovan,  who  built  the 
celebrated  castle  of  Crom,  or  Croom,  on  the  banks  of 
the  river  Maigue,  in  the  county  Limerick,  where  he 
occupied  a  territory  called  Ui-Cairbre-Aebhdha, 
which  comprised  the  barony  of  Coshma,  and  the  dis- 
trict around  Kilmallock.  After  the  English  invasion 
this  castle  was  seized  on  by  the  Fitzgeralds  (the 
Kildare  branch),  and  it  afterwards  gave  origin  to 
the  famous  motto  "  Crom  Aboo,"  used  still  by  the 
Earls  of  Kildare.  This  Crom  was  killed,  A.  D.  1254, 
at  Inispheale,  near  Iniskeen,  during  an  engagement 
with  the  O'Mahonys.  According  to  Dr.  J.  O'Dono- 
van, he  gave  name  to  Grleam-a-Chroim,  in  the  parish 
of  Fanlobus,  which  afterwards  became  the  property 
of  a  branch  of  the  McCarthys,  who  had  their  principal 
seat  at  Dunmanway. 

Cathal  or  Cahill  O'Donovan  was  the  first  son  of  _. 
Crom.  The  fortune  of  war  proving  adverse  to  him, 
he  was  obliged  to  desert  the  solum  natale,  being  forced 
out  of  his  territories  by  the  Eitzgeralds,  and  follow- 
ing an  example  which  was  very  prevalent  at  the 
time,  he  seized  on  a  territory  in  West  Carbery  which 
is  known  at  present  as  the  parish  of  Drimoleague, 
and  having  defeated  in  battle  the  O'Driscolls,  the 
original  proprietors,  he  compelled  them  to  migrate 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


towards  the  coast.  To  this  newly-acquired  possession 
he  transferred  the  tribe  name  of  his  family — Cairbrie, 
and  this  by  a  strange  whim  of  custom  was  extended 
during  the  13th  century  to  the  entire  tract  of 
country,  now  known  as  the  baronies  of  Carbery,  and 
formerly  styled  Corca  Laidhe.  The  name  of  Clan- 
cahil,  after  Cahil  O'Donovan,  was  given  to  a  large 
extent  of  country  in  the  county  of  Cork,  comprising, 
besides  the  parish  of  Drimoleague,  several  other  tracts 
towards  the  south  coast,  in  the  parishes  of  Cabaragh, 
Drinagh,  Myross,  Castlehaven,  &c,  embracing  alto- 
gether 67  ploughlands. 

The  nortbern  boundary  was  the  river  Mealagh — 
formerly  Myalagh — which  rises  in  Mount  Owen  (the 
hill  of  streams)  in  the  parish  of  Fanlobus,  and  taking 
a  north-westerly  direction,  between  Drimoleage,  Fan- 
lobus and  Kilmocomogue,  falls  into  Bantry  Bay  at 

From  its  fountain  head  to  its  termination,  the 
Mealagh,  though  its  course  is  short,  has  some  points 
of  interest.  Not  far  from  its  source,  it  is  a  diminu- 
tive mountain  stream  near  tbe  foot  of  Mount  Owen, 
dashing  down  in  one  place  as  a  foaming  cascade, 
over  tbe  sheer  side  of  a  rocky  boulder  which  projects 
from  tbe  hill- side.  Gathering  size  and  importance, 
as  it  goes  along,  from  all  the  numerous  mountain 
rills  which  add  their  tributary  waters,  it  winds 
along,  a  murmuring  stream,  as  the  Irish  name 
denotes,  through  the  centre  of  the  valley  of  Barna- 
gowlans,  which  is  a  cup-shaped  hollow  in  the  heart 
of  the  mountain,  most  remote,  secluded,  and  difficult 
of  access,  about  equi-distant  from  Dunmanway, 
Drimoleague,  and  Bantry. 

The  latter  is  so  completely  encircled  by  mountains 
on  every  side,  and  the  mode  of  exit  appears  so  diffi- 


158  Sketches  in  Carba'y. 

cult,  as  to  recall  somewhat'  to  our  memory  the  story 
of  Basselas  iu  the  Abyssiniau  Valley,  which  must 
have  presented  however  a  more  enjoyable  prospect 
than  Barnagowlanes.     The  names  of  some  of  the 
adjacent  mountains,  viz.,  Mullaghmeisa,  Derreena- 
crenig,     Knock-na-Cnauv-TJllig,     &c.     (euphonious 
words),  would  be  a  puzzle  and  source  of  dismay  in 
pronunciation  to  a  Cockney  tourist.     At  Dunamark, 
near  Bantry,  the  river  terminates  its  career  by  pre- 
cipitating itself  as  a  deep,  resounding  cataract  over 
a  bare  rocky  cliff,  into  Bantry  Bay.     Dunamark  is 
a  memorable  spot  in  two  ways.     Here,  according  to 
Dr.  O'Donovan,  translator  of  the  "Four  Masters," 
landed  Ceasair   (not  Julius  Ceesar)    and  her  com- 
panions   forty   days   before   the    deluge — the    first 
mortals   that  ever  set   foot   on   Erin's   Isle,   if  we 
are  to  believe  the  antediluvian  tradition ;   and  here 
also  was  formerly  the  original  seat  of  the  Carews, 
one  of  whom,  the  celebrated  Sir  George  Carew,  halted 
at  Dunamark  on  his  way  to  the  siege  of  Dunboy. 

The  chief  residence  of  the  O'Donovans  was  Castle- 
donovan,  in  Drimoleague,  attached  to  which  was 
ODonovan's  seat  in  the  same  parish.  The  walls  of 
Castledonovan  are  standing  still.  ODonovan  says: 
"Great  rents  are  visible  still  from  the  effects  of  light- 
ning of  gunpowder,  as  it  is  said  to  have  been  blown 
up  with  gunpowder  by  the  Cromwellians.  It  stands 
upon  a  rock,  and  a  spiral  staircase  runs  up  to  the 
top.  It  is  42  feet  long,  26  feet  broad,  and  about 
60  feet  high."  According  to  Collins,  Castledonovan 
was  built  by  Donnell  I.  O'Donovan,  commonly  called 
Domhnall  na-g-Croiceann,  who  was  chief  of  Clan- 
cahill,  A.  D.  1560.  Others  think  that  part  of  this 
castle  was  older  than  his  time. 

The  walls  of  the  castle  are  about  six  feet  thick;  the 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  159 

principal  entrance  is  in  the  western  gable,  the  door- 
way consisting  of  a  gothic  a.rch  of  limestone,  skil- 
fully cut  and  fashioned.  At  one  time  there  was  a 
massive  door  protecting  this  entrance,  swinging  on 
stout  hinges,  and  secured  in  front  by  large  iron  bolts. 
This  door,  it  is  said,  was  discovered  some  years  ago 
by  a  neighbouring  farmer,  who  carried  it  home,  and 
broke  it  up  for  domestio  purposes.  The  staircase, 
which  was  a  spiral  one,  consists  of  91  steps,  and  the 
parapets,  which  were  machicolated,  supported  a  broad 
balcony,  on  which  guns  could  be  mounted.  There 
were  also  redoubts,  breast  works,  and  a  bakehouse, 
the  ruins  of  which  can  still  be  observed  close  to  the 
walls  of  the  central  tower. 

The  castle  derived  its  power  and  importance,  as 
an  impregnable  stronghold,  not  so  much  from  the 
firmness  of  its  architecture  and  the  strength  of  its 
garrison  as  from  the  situation  it  occupied — protected 
on  the  east,  north,  and  north-west  by  a  regular 
amphitheatre  of  hills,  and  built'  on  a  rock  at  the 
head  of  a  remote  mountain  valley;  before  the  ad- 
jacent land  was  cultivated,  it  was  formerly  sur- 
rounded by  a  circle  of  bogs,  and  marshes,  a  safe 
passage  through  which  presented  no  small  difficulty 
to  an  invading  force. 

There  is  a  tradition  that  O'Donovan  and  his  fol- 
lowers on  one  occasion  went  on  a  foraging  expedi- 
tion to  the  baronies  of  Bear  and  Ban  try  ;  they  seized 
on  some  cattle  belonging  to  Dhpnal  Coum  O'Sullivan : 
the  latter,  however,  went  in  pursuit,  accompanied  by 
a  large  force,  and  overtook  O'Donovan  at  a  pass 
between  Derreenacrenig  and  Mullaghmeisa  moun- 
tains, close  to  Castle  Donovan,  where  a  battle  ensued, 
attended  with  much  bloodshed,  each  side  claiming 
the  victory.     Ever  since  this  occurred  the  mountain 

160  Sketches  in  Carter*/. 

pass  has  been  known  under  the  name  of  Barnafulla 
(the  gap  of  blood). 

In  1650  the  castle  was  attacked,  it  is  said,  by  one 
of  Cromwell's  generals ;  the  garrison  having  ex- 
hausted their  ammunition,  and  being  called  on  to 
surrender,  escaped  during  the  night,  and  fled  to 
Limerick.  "We  have  no  accurate  record  since  that 
period  of  the  castle  having  been  regularly  inhabited. 
There  is  a  report  current  that  the  White  Boys  used 
its  gloomy  chambers  as  a  place  of  retreat  at  one 
time.  A  square  boulder  of  rock  near  the  brink  of 
the  little  mountain  stream  which  passes  close  by  the 
castle  walls  is  still  known  as  Carrig-na-Mart  (Rock 
of  the  beef),  for  here,  according  to  tradition,  the 
owners  of  the  castle  were  accustomed  to  have  the 
cattle  killed  which  were  destined  as  food  for  them- 
selves, their  followers,  and  attendants. 

The  territory  of  Clancahill,  as  was  mentioned 
already,  included  two  manors,  that  of  Castledonovan 
and  the  manor  of  Bahine  in  Myross,  the  seat  attached 
to  which  was  Banlaghan. 

Donnell  III.  O'Donovan,  who  flourished  during 
the  middle  of  the  17th  century,  was  a  man  distin- 
guished both  in  war  and  peace,  admired  by  his  friends 
and  respected  by  his  enemies.  He  died  in  the  year 
1660.  He  was  a  strict  loyalist,  and  joined  during 
the  Cromwellian  wars  the  Earl  of  Castlehaven,  who 
was  commander-in-chief  of  the  royalists  in  Ireland 
at  that  period.  His  principal  castle  in  Myross  was 
Bahine,  which  was  head  of  a  manor  in  1607.  Ac- 
cording to  Collins,  this  castle  was  built  by  Donnell  II. 
O'Donovan,  who  succeeded  his  father,  Donnell  L,  in 
1584.  Bahine  castle  is  situated  close  to  the  water's 
edge,  on  the  east  side  of  the  harbour,  facing  Castle- 
townsend.     It  is   of  very  solid  construction,   and 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  161 

built  after  the  same  model  as  Castledonovan  Castle. 
The  east  wall  has  fallen -down.  The  western  wall, 
looking  out  to  the  harbour's  mouth,  is  fissured  with 
rents,  and  presents  quite  a  battered  appearance. 
Several  holes  are  visible  where  cannon  balls  pene- 
trated, some  of  which  are  still  imbedded  in  the  solid 
masonry  of  the  wall.  During  1649,  after  the  land- 
ing of  Cromwell  in  Dublin,  the  lands  about  Eahine 
were  ravaged  with  fire"  and  sword  bj  the  Crom- 
wellians.  It  was,  most  probably,  at  this  period  the 
castle  was  attacked  and  bombarded  by  some  ships  in 
the  harbour,  as  we  learn  from  historians  that  two 
castles  belonging  to  O'Donovan  were^esieged  then 
and  blown  up  with  gunpowder. 

In  ancient  times  a  system  of  masonry  called 
grouting,  was  adopted  in  the  building  of  castles  and 
fortified  places.  Instead  of  laying  alternate  layers 
of  mortar  between  the  stones,  a  fluid  mortar  of  sand 
and  lime,  mixed  with  blood,  chopped  horse  hair,  and 
sometimes  fine  gravel,  was  poured  into  holes  in  the 
wall,  and  this  fluid  mortar  finding  its  way  into  every 
crevice,  when  it  cooled  bound  the  parts  together  in 
as  complete  and  solid  a  manner  as  if  the  buildiDg 
was  hewn  out  of  a  rock.  In  this  way  we  can  account 
why  it  is  that  the  buildings  of  olden  times  can  resist 
the  effects  of  time  and  exposure  to  weather  better 
than  the  more  elaborate,  but  also  more  lath-and- 
plaster  edifices  of  modern  construction. 

John  O'Donovan,  the  eminent  Irish  scholar,  genea- 
logist, and  historian,  who  died  in  1864,  has  entered 
very  minutely,  and  with  great  research,  into  the 
genealogy  and  history  of  the  senior  branch  of  the 
O'Donovan  family,  who  formerly  occupied  the  parish 
of  Myross  as  already  mentioned.  As  we  are  at 
present  engaged  in  studying  the  different  points  of 


162  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

interest  connected  "with  that  parish,  I  have  been 
tempted  to  present,  in  a  condensed  form- and  in  con- 
secutive order,  some  of  the  leading  particulars  which 
he  refers  to,  as  a  description  of  Myross  would  be  in- 
complete without  them. 

On  the  death  of  Donnell  III., .  O'Donovan,  of 
Castledonovan  and  Sahine,  his  son,  Daniel  IV.,  who 
was  left  without  any  property,  petitioned  King 
Charles  II.  to  restore  to  him  his  father's  estates,  which 
were  forfeited  during  the  Cromwellian  wars.  The 
kino-  wrote  to  the  Irish  Government,  directing  their 
attention  to  the  matter,  the  result  being  that  a  por- 
tion of  the  Manor  of  Rahine  was  restored  to  him, 
but  no  part  of  the  Manor  of  Castledonovan,  which 
the  king,  by  patent,  in  the  18th  year  of  his  reign, 
granted  to  Lieutenant  Nathaniel  Evanson. 

A  copy  of  the  king's  letter  was  preserved  atBawn- 
lao-han  House,  and  lay  in  the  possession  of  the  late 
Edward  Powell,  Esq. 

In  1684,  O'Donovan  was  put  on  his  trial  for  high 
treason,  but  was  honourably  acquitted.  He  after- 
wards became  colonel  of  a  foot  regiment  in  the 
service  of  James  II.,  and  was  deputy  governor  of 
Charles  Port,  in  1690,  when  it  was  attacked  by 
Lord  Marlborough  and  forced  to  surrender,  the  gar- 
rison being  allowed  to  march  out  with  their  arms 
and  baggage. 

Daniel  IV.  O'Donovan  was  succeeded,  about  1703, 
by  Captain  Richard  O'Donovan,  who  married  Eleanor 
Fitzgerald,  daughter  of  the  Knight  of  Kerry.  He 
was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son,  Daniel  V.,  who 
married,  in  his  18th  year,  Anne  Kearney,  daughter 
of  James  Kearney,  Esq.,  of  Grarrettstown,  and 
secondly,  in  1763,  in  the  60th  year  of  his  age,  Jane 
Becher,  daughter  of  John  Becher,  Esq.,  of  Holly- 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


brook,  then  15  years  old,  by  whom  he  had  four 
children.  He  died  in  1778.  Smith,  in  his  "  History 
of  Cork,"  in  noticing  Bawnlaghan,  makes  the  follow- 
ing remark : — 

"In  this  parish  (Myross)  is  Bawnlaghan,  the 
seat  of  O'Donovan,  chief  of  that  ancient  family,  a 
worthy,  courteous  gentleman." 

His  children  were  (1)  Eichard,  a  general  in  the 
English  service ;  (2)  John,  a  captain  in  the  English 
service,  who  was  killed  in  the  year  1796;  (3)  Ellen 
or  Helena,  who  married  John  Warren,  Esq.,  Codrum, 
and/ died  without  issue,  1840;  and  (4)  Jane,  who 
died  unmarried  in  1833.  In  his  will,  dated  De- 
cember, 1778,  in  case  of  failure  of  issue  male  and 
female  in  his  sons,  he  leaves  the  reversion  of  his 
estates  to  Morgan  O'Donovan,  Esq.,  then  livino-  in 
the  city  of  Cork,  and  grandfather  of  O'Donovan,  of 
Montpelier,  and  of  The  O'Donovan  ofLissard,  Skib- 
bereen.  He  was  buried  in  the  church  of  Myross 
where  he  was  followed  by.  his  second  wife,  Jane 
Becher,  who  died  in  1812. 

Bawnlaghan  is  also  styled  Castlejane,  a  name 
conferred  on  it,  I  daresay,  by  ODonovan,  in  honour 
of  his  wife. 

Eichard  II.  Donovan,  eldest  son  of  the  last  men-, 
tioned,  succeeded  his  father.  He  was  born  about  1 764, 
and  in  1800  married  Emma  Anne  Powell,  a  "Welsh 
lady.  He  had  no  children  ;  he  was  a  colonel  in  the 
Enniskillen  Dragoons,  and  afterwards  a  general  in 
the  English  service  ;  he  was  an  intimate  acquaint- 
ance of  the  Prince  Eegent,  and  saved  the  life  of  his 
Highness  the  Duke  of  York  during  the  retreat  of 
the  English  army  from  Holland,  O'Donovan  died 
in  1829,  and  with  him  became  extinct  the  senior 
branch    of    the    O'Donovan    family,    viz      "  The 


164  Sketches  in  Carlery, 

O'Donovan  of  Castledonovan  and  Bawnlaghan 
According  to  his  father's  will,  the  property  should 
have  reverted  to  O'Donovan,  Montpelier ;  however, 
he  managed  to~  upset  the  will  some  time  hefore  his 
own  death  by  "  levying  fines  and  suffering  a  recovery" 
of  the  property,  which  he  then  willed  to  his  wife, 
Emma  Anne  Powell,  who  died  in  1832,  after  having 
willed  the  remnant  of  the  ancient  estate  to  her 
brother,  Major  Powell,  one  of  whose  sons  now  enjoys 
its  possession. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  lands  belong- 
ing to  General  O'Donovan  at  the  time  of  his  death, 
in  1829  ;  they  constitute  a  very  small  portion  of  the 
original  territory  of  Clancahill:  1,  Bawnlaghan; 
2,  Coolebin  ;  3,  Islands  ;  4,  Clontaff ;  5,  Kilgleeny; 
6,  Curraghalicky ;  7,  Curryglass;  8,  The  Pike; 
9,  Coomatollin. 

About  a  mile  to  the  south  of  Bawnlaghan,  when 
we  reach  the  summit  of  the  hill  on  the  Myross  road, 
we  observe  a  small  fragment  of  an  ancient  castle  in 
an  adjoining  field  on  our  left  hand  side ;  it  is  all 
that  is  left  of  Castle  Ire,  or  as  it  was  originally 
styled  Ivor.  The  fragment  which  remains  is  formed 
by  a  small  portion  of  the  north  and  west  walls  of 
the  castle  tower,  the  rest  having  fallen  down  long 
ao-o.  It  forms  a  prominent  object  when  viewed  from 
near  Lough  Cluhir,  reminding  a  person  of  one  of 
these  ancient  pillar-stones  which  are  still  abundant 
in  some  parts  of  Ireland.  Portions  of  the  foundation 
built  on  the  solid  rock  may  also  be  observed.  This 
castle  occupied  a  very  commanding  position,  over- 
hanging a  narrow  gorge,  overlooking  the  entire 
peninsula  between  itself  and  the  coast,  and  embracing 
within  the  range  of  vision  an  extensive  sweep  of 
horizon  out  to  sea.    It  must  evidently  have  served 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


the  purpose  of  a  -watch-tower,  as  we  learn  that  the 
builder  of  Castle  Ivor  was  an  extensive  trader. 

According  to  John  Collins,  Castle  Ivor  -was  built 
in  the  year  1251,  by  Ivor  Donovan  (a  Dano-Celtic 
name),  second  son  of  Cathal,  who  was  son  of  Crom, 
the  progenitor  of  the  O'Donovan  family.  It  re- 
mained in  the  possession  of  his  descendants  until  the 
middle  of  the  16th  century,  when  they  were  dis- 
possessed by  Donnell  Na-Gcroiceann,  the  chieftain 
of  the  senior  branch.  Collins  tells  us  the  following 
legend : — 

"  Ivor  was  a  celebrated  trader,  and  is  now  regarded 
as  a  magician  in  the  wild  traditions  of  the  peasantry 
of  the  district,  who  believe  he  is  enchanted  in  a  lake 
called  Lough  Cluhir,  situated  near  Castle  Ivor,  in 
the  townland  of  Listarkin,  and  that  his  magical 
ship  is  seen  every  seventh  year,  with  all  her  courses 
set  and  colours  flying,  majestically  floating  on  the 
surface  of  that  lake.  I  have  seen  one  person,  in  par- 
ticular, testify  by  oath  that  he  had  seen  this  extra- 
ordinary phenomenon  in  the  year  1778." 

"He  should  have  added,"  says  O'Donovan,  "that 
this  ship  was  said  to  have  appeared  immediately  after 
the  death  of  Daniel  O'Donovan,  of  Bawnlahan,  Esq., 
the  representative  of  Donell  Na-Gcroiceann,  the  ex- 
tirpator of  the  race  of  Ivor." 

The  ruins  of  Castle  Ivor,  insignificant-looking  as 
they  are,  must  be  viewed  with  the  greatest  interest, 
when  we  consider  that  the  lengthened  period  of  six 
centuries  has  elapsed  since  the  foundations  of  a  castle 
so  venerable  by  its  age  were  first  laid  by  Ivor. 
"What  changes  in  the  fortunes  of  the  world  have 
occurred  since  then  ! — conquests,  sieges,  battles,  by 
land  and  sea.  How  many  generations  of  mankind 
have  passed  away  after  filling  up  the  niche  in  time 

166  Sketches  in  CarbertJ.     ' 

allotted  to  them  by  destiny,  and  still  that  little 
ruined  fragment  remains,  outliving  the  storm,  like 
the  debris  of  a^  shipwrecked  vessel,  to  prove  that  - 
something  tangible,  and  tenanted  by  human  beings  : 
had  once  existed.  • 

John  Collins,  of  Myross,  whose  name  we  have 
often  quoted  already,  was  a  man  gifted  with  natural 
qualities  of  a  high  poetical  character,  which,  had 
they  been  matured  by  art,  or  had  he  lived  under 
more  favourable  circumstances,  might  probably  have 
placed  his  name  high  on  the  roll  of  poets.  How- 
ever, as  we  learn  from  the  records  of  his  life,  he  had 
to  devote  the  greater  part  of  his  days  to  the  drudgery 
inseparable  from  the  office  of  a  village  schoolmaster, 
in  order  to  support  a  wife  and  large  family.  The 
opportunities  which  university  education,  spare 
time,  and  command  of  money,  give  to  others  to  cul- 
tivate the  mind  were  wanting  in  his  case,  as,  being 
thrown  upon  his  own  resources,  he  had  to  educate 
himself  m  a  great  measure,  and  at  the  same  time 
procure  a  livelihood. 

O'Donovan  styles  him  the  last  Irish  scholar,  his- 
toriographer, and  poet  of  Carbery,  and  the  name  by 
which  he  was  popularly  known  through  the  South 
of  Ireland  was  "  The  Silver  Tongue  of  Munster." 
Collins  was  born  about  the  year  1754,  at  Kilmeen, 
to  the  north  of  Clonakilty ;  his  parents  were  of  the 
tanning  class;  he  was  descended  from  the  O'Cullanes 
(Anglicised  into  Collins ),  an  Irish  sept,  who  formerly 
occupied  Castle  Lyons,  and  the  district  around  it. 
Ine  only  property  he  inherited,  like  the  majority  of 
his  countrymen,  lay  in  the  gifts  which  nature  had 
bestowed  on  him— a  fluent  tongue,  a  ready  wit,  and 
a  sound  constitution.  He  was  destined  at  first  for 
the  priesthood,  but  did  not  long  pursue  his  studies 



Sketches  in  Carbery.  lQf 

in  that  line,  having  no  vocation  for  a  clerical  life. 
He  ultimately  during  his  rambles  took  up  his  resi- 
dence in  Myross,  where  he  taught  school  for  a  con- 
siderable period,  and  in  which  place  he  composed 
several  beautiful  poems  in  the  Irish  language, 
amongst  others — "The  Buachaill  JBawn,"  "An  Ode 
on  Timoleague  Abbey,"  very  much  admired  (trans- 
lated by  Ferguson),  and  a  translation  in  Irish  of 
that  charming  poem  of  Campbell's,  "  The  Exile  of 
Erin,"  which  Irish  scholars  say  excels  the  original. 

The  following  is  a  translation  of  a  portion  of  the 
"  Buachaill  Bawn,"  by  Erionnache.  One  verse  only 
is  given,  merely  to  convey  some  idea,  although  a  faint 
one,  of  Collins's  poetry.  Irish  poems  do  not  admit 
well  as  a  rule  of  being  translated  into  English,  both 
languages  being  so  dissimilar  in  sound,  mode  of  ex- 
pression, &c. : — 


"  With  crimson  gleaming  the  dawn  rose,  beaming 

On  branching  oaks  nigh  the  golden  shore, 

Above  me  rustled  their  leaves,  and  dreaming, 

Methought  a  nymph  rose  the  blue  -waves  o'er ; 
Her  brow  was  brighter  than  stars  that  light  our 

Dim,  dewy  earth  ere  the  summer  dawn, 
But  she  spoke  in  mourning :  '  My  heart  of  sorrow 
Ne'er  brings  a  morrow,  Mo  Buachaill  Bawn !' " 

Some  of  Collins's  manuscripts  fell  into  the  posses* 
sion  of  a  Mr.  0' Grady,  of  Dublin.  They  were 
written  about  1774,  and  beside  his  poems  contained 
a  history  of  Ireland,  which  was  left  in  an  unfinished 
state.  Collins  died  at  Skibbereen,  in  the  year  1816, 
at  the  age  of  64  years. 

Daniel  Mac  Carthy  (GHas),  author  of  "  The  Life 
and  Letters  of  Florence  Mao  Carthy  Mor,"  and  "  The 

168  Sketches  in  Carter y. 

Mac  Carthys  of  Grleana  Crohn,"  has  "written  a  brief 
account  of  John  Collins  in  the  latter  work.  He  also 
possesses  the  original  manuscript  of  Collins  relating 
to  the  genealogy  of  the  Mac  Carthys.  The  original 
manuscript  copy  by  Collins,  consisting  of  a  brief 
condensed  "  History  of  Ancient  Ireland,"  and  "  The 
Pedigree  of  the  O'Donovans  of  Clancahill"  is 
possessed  by  Mr.  Philip  O'Donovan,  of  Union  Hall, 

At  the  south-east  corner  of  Myross,  close  to  the 
mouth  of  Grlandore  Harbour,  is  situated  the  town- 
land  of  Carigilihy.  Previous  to  1846  a  thriving 
hamlet  of  the  same  name  existed  here,  containing  a 
population  of  about  700  persons,  who  gained  a  liveli- 
hood chiefly  by  fishing  and  trading  along  the  coast. 
"When  the  gaunt  and  grim  spectre  of  famine  passed  over 
the  land,  carrying  death  and  desolation  on  its  blight- 
ing track  into  many  a  prosperous  and  happy  home- 
stead, the  ravages  of  disease  and  hunger  extended 
themselves  to  this  remote  hamlet  too.  Most  of 
those  who  weathered  the  storm  emigrated  to  America, 
and  at  present  we  only  observe  ruined  habitations 
and  a  scanty  population,  where  in  former  times  a 
numerous  colony  of  people  resided. 

About  forty  years  ago,  when  the  duties  on  im- 
ported goods  were  very  heavy,  smuggling  was  ex- 
tensively practised  along  the  south-western  coast  of 
Ireland,  which,  from  its  geographical  position  and 
the  many  inlets  of  the  sea  it  contains,  was  most 
accessible  to  vessels  sailing  from  the  coasts  of  France, 
Portugal  and  Spain, -with  contraband  cargo  on  board. 
In  the  year  1830  a  cargo  of  brandy  was  run  across 
from  France  to  Carrigilihy.  Intimation,  however, 
had  been  given  to  the  custom-house  officers  and 
coastguards  beforehand,  and  they  were  continually 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  lgj) 

on  the  alert  in  order  to  intercept  the  smugglers, 
who,  coming  off  the  place"  and  being  afraid  to  land, 
sank  their  brandy  casks  near  the  coast,  and  buoyed 
them  up  so  that  they  might  raise  them  again  at  the 
first  favourable  opportunity.  One  night,  however 
a  violent  storm  came  on,  the  lashings  of  the  casks 
were  rent  asunder,  and  the  casks  themselves  floating 
to  the  surface  were  driven  ashore  by  the  wind  and 
waves.  "When  morning  broke  the  whole  population 
of  Carigilihy  turned  out,  and  rushing  down  to  the 
strand  made  a  brisk  attack  on  the  casks,  whose  sides 
they  soon  broached,  and  whose  contents  they  quickly 
demolished.  The  old  Cognac,  however,  proved  a 
formidable  foe,  and  long  before  evening  came  on 
the  majority  of  the  brandy-drinkers  were  stretched 
senseless  on  the  sand,  and  two  unfortunate  men 
died  from  taking  an  over-dose  of  the  brandy. 

A  rich  and  ancient  monastery  at  one  time  flourished 
in  Carrigilihy ;  it  was  called  the  Abbey  Be  Sancto 
Mauro,  or  Be  Fonte  Vivo  (of  the  Clear  Spring).  The 
latter  name  it  derived  from  a  clear,  limpid  spring 
which  welled  up  out  of  the  rock  near  the  site  of  the 
old  abbey. 

I  have  already  alluded  in  one  of  the  opening 
chapters  in  brief  terms  to  this  ancient  and  important 
abbey.  "In  the  year  1519  the  abbot,  Johnlmurily, 
was  made  Bishop  of  Boss."  (Monast.  Hibeniic.)  It 
was  occupied  by  monks  of  the  Cistercian  Order,  who 
came  there  from  the  more  ancient  and  celebrated 
Abbey  of  Baltinglass  in  the  county  "Wicklow. 

Some  authorities  say  that  Be  Sancto  Mauro  was 
situated  at  Abbey  Mahon,  near  Timoleague,  but  Smith 
and  others  contradict  this  assertion,  and  fix  the  locality 
as  at  Carrigilihy,  and  apparently  on  better  grounds. 
Smith  states  that  in  his  time,  that  is  about  100  years 


Sketches  in  Carteri/. 

ago,  "  The  foundations  of  extensive  ruins,  together 
with   a  large   cemetery,   with   great   quantities  of 
human  hones,  "were  discovered  in  Carrigilihy.    It  - 
was  most  probably,  he  says,  the  site  of  the  Abbey 
De  Sancto  Mauro." 

The  "  Monasticon  Hihernicon"  which  gives  very 
reliahle  information  on  the  ancient  Ecclesiastical  re- 
cords of  Ireland,  alluding  to  the  abbeys  of  the  Order 
of  Cistercian  Monks,  says : — 

"  This  Order  had  no  great  number  of  houses,  yet 
it  had  the  advantage  of  being  one  of  the  richest  and 
most  renowned  in  the  island,  not  only  because  all 
its  houses  had  the  title  of  Abbeys,  but  also  because 
this  alone  had  more  abbots,  who  were  lords  spiritual, 
and  as  such  sat  in  Parliament,  than  all  the  other 
Orders  together,  for,  of  fifteen  abbots,  who  had  this 
prerogative  throughout  the  country,  thirteen  were 
of  the  Cistercian  Order. 

"  In  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth  this  monastery 
and  its  appurtenances  were  granted  for  ever  to 
Nicholas  Walshe,  at  the  annual  rent  of  £28  6s.  €>d." 

The  remaining  points  of  interest  connected  with 
Myross  are  few.  Squince  Island  is  deserving  of 
note,  as  it  has  long  enjoyed  a  reputation  for  pro- 
ducing herbage  which  has  special  capacities  for  the 
fattening  of  horses.  The  island  is  connected  with 
the  mainland  by  means  of  a  causeway.  Near 
Squince  Strand  a  neat  and  trim-looking  coastguard 
station  was  situated  some  years  ago.  A  little  to 
the  south-west  of  this  place,  and  built  on  an  elevated 
position  near  the  sea,  stand  the  ruins  of  the  old 
parish  chapel.  The  four  side  walls  of  the  aisle  are 
standing  in  good  preservation.  Within  the  walls 
and  in  the  surrounding  graveyard  may  be  seen 
several  diminutive  fonts  of  very  rude  and  primitive 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


■workmanship.    Here  alse  is  a  peculiar-looking  tomb, 
built  of  large  stone  slabs  in  the  form  of  a  truncated 
pyramid ;  it  was  the  burying-place  of  the  O'Dono- 
vans  of  Bawnlahane.     From  this  spot  we  get  a 
good  view  out  to  sea  and  along  the  coast.     Immedi- 
ately facing   us,  at  a  short'  distance,  we  perceive 
High   and  Low  Island;   the  latter  was  formerly 
called  Arahas  Island,  and  was  occupied  by  a  small 
cbapel,  near   the   site  of  which   persons   from   the 
mainland  were  buried.     On  Babbit's  Island,  near 
Squince,  a  holy  well  dedicated  to  St.  Bridget  at  one 
time  nourished.    The  country  people  used  to  congre- 
gate there  on  the  eve  of  St.  Bridget  to  offer  up  their 
devotions.     However,  some  years  ago  a  boat  was 
capsized,  returning  late  one  evening  from  the  island, 
and  some  people  drowned.     Since  then  the  well  has 
been  neglected,  and  another  well  on  the  mainland, 
in  a  little  sequestered  nook  near  Squince  coastguard 
station,  fulfils  the  office  of  its  predecessor.     The  sea 
near  Squince  runs  inland  for  a  short  distance,  forming 
a  peculiar  inlet,  which  ends  in  a  cul-de-sac.    It  is  called 
in  Irish,  Cuan-caech,  and  in  English,  Blind  Harbour. 
Close  to  the  beach  we  observe  Squince  House, 
formerly  the  seat  of  the  O'Donovans  of  Squince,  of  the 
Clanloughlin  branch,  celebrated  for  their  hospitality. 
At  the  mouth  of  Blind  Harbour,  in  February, 
1874,  an  Italian  barque,  the  "Pulcinello"  was  ship- 
wrecked during  a  terrible  gale.     Driven  in  near  the 
shore  by  the  fury  of  the  gale,  she  foundered  in  the 
harbour.     All  hands  were  lost,  with  the  exception  of 
a  young  Italian  boy,  who  had  a  miraculous  escape. 
He  was  flung  ashore  by  a  wave  which  washed  over 
the   ship's    deck,    and  before  the   succeeding  wave 
could  overtake  him  he  contrived  to  scramble  beyond 
the  reach  of  the  tide,  holding  on  by  the  grass  and 
fems.    He  was  picked  up  next  morning  in  an  ex- 

172  Sketches  in  Carter y. 

hausted  state,  but  was  quickly  restored  by  the  kind- 
ness and  care  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  place. 

One  of  the  most  interesting  facts  connected  with  My- 
ross  is  the  residence  there  for  about  six  months  of  the 
celebrated  Dean  Swift,  during  which  time  he  dwelt  at 
Eock  Cottage,  it  is  said  (the  residence  of  J.  Frenoh, 
Esq.),  being  on  a  visit  with  a  clergyman  of  the  district^ 
the  Eev.  Thomas  Somerville.  The  Dean  was  in  the 
habit  of  making  excursions  along  the  coast,  between 
Glandore  and  Baltimore,  and  the  impressions  pro- 
duced on  his  mind  by  the  scenery  he  observed  found 
expression  in  a  Latin  poem,  written  in  hexameter 
verse,  and  styled  "  Carberiae  Eupes,"  which  he 
wrote  in  June,  1723.  It  is  a  curious  fact  that  Swift 
should  have  preferred  this  poem  and  an  epistle  in 
Latin  verse  to  Dr.  Sheridan  to  any  of  his  other 
writings,  for  although  the  metre  is  perfect,  and  the 
style  classical,  still  there  is  nothing  particularly 
brilliant  in  the  subject  matter  of  the  poem.  In  the 
same  way  Milton  preferred  "  Paradise  Eegained" 
to  "  Paradise  Lost,"  and  Byron  "  A  Paraphrase  on 
Horace's  Art  of  Poetry,"  a  production  of  mediocre 
ability,  to  his  magnificent  poem  "  Childe  Harold" 
(before  the  publication  of  the  latter),  the  manuscript 
of  which  lay  neglected  in  his  trunk  until  his  friend 
Hobhouse  awaked  the  poet's  consciousness  to  some 
idea  of  its  great  merits. 

The  reader  can  judge  from  these  facts  how  a 
person  may  be  a  great  poet  or  prose  writer,  and  still 
a  very  poor  critic  of  his  own  works ;  like  the  medical 
man,  who  can  never  prescribe  well  for  himself  when 
he  gets  sick,  but  requires  the  friendly  aid  of  another 
to  diagnose  and  treat  his  disease  skilfully. 

Every  incident  and  particular  connected  with  the 
life  of  so  illustrious  and  distinguished  an.  Irishman 
as  Dean  Swift  are  worthy  of  note  and  fraught  with 


Sketches  in  Carlery,  173 

interest.    We  transcribe  his  poem  in  part,  with,  the 
translation  of  it  by  Dr.  Dunkin : — 


"  Ecce !  ingens  fragmens  scopuli,  quod  vertice  sumjno, 
Desuper  impendet,  nullo  fundarhine  nixum, 
Decidit  in  fluctus :  maria  undique  et  undique  gaxa 
Horrisono  stridore  tonant,  et  ad  jethera  murmur 
Erigitur  ;  trepidatque  ;  suis  Neptunus  in  undis. 
Nam  longa  venti  rabie,  atque ;  aspergine  crebrjl 
iEquorei  laticis,  specuB  ima"  rupe  cavatur: 
Jam  f  ultura  ruit,  jam  summa  cacumina  nutant ; 
Jam  cadit  in  proeceps  moles,  et  verberat  undas 
Attonitus  credas,  bine  dejecisse  tonantem 
Montibus  impositos  montes,  et  Pelion  altum 
In  capita  anguipedum  coelo  jaculasse  gigantum. 

Stepe  etiam  spelunca  immani  aperitur  hiatu 
Exesa  6  scopulis,  et  utrinque  foramina  pandit, 
Hinc  atque  bine  a  ponto  ad  pontum  pervia  Phcebo." 

(Translated  by  Dunkin.) 
"  Lo  !  from  tbe  top  of  yonder  cliff,  that  shrouds 
Its  airy  head  amid  the  azure  clouds, 
Hangs  a  huge  fragment ;  destitute  of  props, 
Prone  on  the  waves,  the  rocky  ruin  drops !  ■ 
With  hoarse  rebuff  the  swelling  seas  rebound, 
From  shore  to  shore  the  rocks  return  the  sound : 
The  dreadful  murmur  heav'ns  high  convex  cleaves, 
And  Neptune  shrinks  beneath  his  subject  waves ; 
For  long  the  whirling  w'nds  and  beating  tides 
Had  scooped  a  hole  into  its  nether  sides. 
Now  yields  the  base,  the  summits  nod,  now  urge 
Their  headlong  course,  and  lash  the  sounding  surge. 
Not  louder  noise  could  shake  the  guilty  world 
When  Jove  heap'd  mountains  upon  mountains  hurl'd; 
Betorting  Pelion  from  his  dread  abode, 
To  crush  earth's  rebel  sons  beneath  the  load. 

Oft  too  with  hideous  yawn  the  caverns  wide 
Present  an  orifice  on  either  side, 
A  dismal  orifice*  from  sea  to  sea, 
Extended,  pervious  to  the  god  of  day." 


•  This  refers  to  a  cave,  near  Carrigilihy  Strand,  where  Dean  Swift  used  to 
embark.  It  forms  a  natural  archway,  hollowed  out  of  the  rank,  and  communi- 
cating with  the  sea  by  two  separate  orifices,  some  distance  apart.  When  the 
tide  is  favourable  *  boat  can  be  rowed  through  from  one  mouth  to  the  other. 

174  Sketches  in  Carlery, 

There  is  one  matter  of  particular  interest  connected 
with  Myross  which  is  so  well  worthy  of  record  that 
we  cannot  pass  it  hy  casually,  hut  must  enter  at 
some  length  into  its  description.  About  half-a-mile 
up  Grlandore  Harbour  the  sea  takes  a  .bend  west- 
ward, at  the  Myross  side,  forming  .a  small  creek  at 
the  extremity  of  which  is  situated  the  village  of 
Union  Hall,  in  a  snug,  secluded  nook.  Forty-six 
years  ago  Union  Hall  was  a  great  centre  of  attrac- 
tion to  sightseers  and  scientific  persons  from  various 
parts  of  the  South  of  Ireland,  it  being  the  habitat  of 
what  many  regarded  as  a  supernatural  phenomenon, 
and  what  were  familiarly  known  as  the  "  Grlandoro 
Lights"  •  {MiraUKa  Glandoriana),  or  Harrington's 

It  appears  that  in  the  year  1832,  a  poor  labouring 
man  named  Thomas  Harrington,  residing  in  the 
parish  of  Myross,  occupied  a  small  cabin  close  to  the 
sea-side,  at  the  foot  of  a  hill  called  Ardagh,  which  is 
in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  Union  Hall.  He  was 
a  man  of  a  delicate  constitution  ;  exposure  to  hard- 
ship, cold,  and  damp  brought  on  an  attack  ^f  con- 
sumption, aud  for  sisSyears,  from  1832  to  1838,  he 
lingered  in  a  dying  state,  his  health  being  gradually 
undermined  by  the  slow,  insidious,  but  certainly 
fatal  ravages  of  that  most  incurable  disease .- 

During  this  period  strange  lights  of  a  ghastly 
hue,  and  assuming  the  most  varied  forms,  were  ob- 
served from  time  to  time  within  the  walls  of  the 
cabin  and  over  the  body  of  the  sick  man.  The 
report  of  this  strange  occurrence  soon  travelled  far 
and  wide,  and  from  various  parts  of  the  county 
persons  of  all  ranks  of  society,  male  and  female, 
assembled  to  witness  Harrington's  Lights.  Some 
observed    nothing,   some    saw   faint    glimmerings, 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  175 

whilst  others  discovered  brilliant  stars,  meteors 
flitting  about  from  wall  to  wall,  balls  of  fire,  &c. 
The  hands  of  persons  raised  over  the  body  of  the 
sick  man  sometimes  presented  a  luminous  appear- 
ance to  lookers  on  in  the  surrounding  darkness. 
Sceptical  observers,  who  distinguished  nothing,  be- 
lieved they  were  the  result  of  chicanery  and  leger- 
demain (which  however  were  never  detected),  which 
misled  the  judgment  and  excited  the  imagination  of 
speculative  philosophers  and  nervous  old  ladies,  as 
ignes-fatui  in  the  wastes  are  said  to  beguile  the 
steps  of  unwary  travellers.  Those  with  a  strong 
religious  tendency  ascribed  the  lights  to  superhuman 
agency,  and  looked  on  them  as  miraoulous  and 
nothing  less. 

Persons  of  a  very  scientific  turn  were  confident 
that  all  could  be  explained  by  chemical  or  electrical 
causes,  and  that  the  fons  et  origo  were  situated  in 
the  atmosphere,  or  in  the  soil  on  which  the  cabin 
was  built.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  ignes-fatui 
(Will-o'-the-wisps)  are  seen  at  times '  in  boggy, 
marshy  ground,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  graveyards ; 
they  are  supposed  to  be  qaused  by  phosphureted  * 
hydrogen  escaping  from  the  soil,  the  result  of  animal 
and  vegetable  decay.  Opposed  to  this  theory  in 
Harrington's  case  was  the  fact  that,  though  both 
soil  and  atmosphere  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
cabin  were  closely  examined  and  explored,  nothing 
of  a  similar  nature  to  what  took,  place  in  the  sick 
chamber  could  be  observed. 

"We  now  come  to  the  final  explanation  of  these 
strange  lights,  which  is  generally  received  as  the 
most  correct  one.  Physiologists  and  pathologists 
are  aware  from  experiments  and  actual  observations 
that  in  certain  diseased  states  of  the  system,  engen- 

176  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

dered  by  hereditary  taint  or  other  causes,  such  as 
consumption  and  allied  diseases,  great  wasting  of 
the  fatty  tissues  and  loss  of  the  phosphates  take 
place.  At  the  same  time  the  supply  of  oxygen 
being  deficient,  owing  to  the  imperfect  manner  in' 
which  the  lungs  perform  their  functions,  the  phos- 
phorus escapes  fromthe  body  under  peculiar  oiroum-' 
stances  without  being  oxidized,  in  the  form  of 
phosphureted  hydrogen,  through  the  lungs  and 
skin.  Now  phosphureted  hydrogen  has  the  peculiar 
property  of  instantly  inflaming  when  it  comes  iu 
contact  with  the  air,  and  it  is  in  this  way  we  can 
explain  how,  in  exceptional  cases,  luminous  exha- 
lations are  sometimes  (but  very  rarely)  emitted  from 
the  human  body  during  life. 

It  is  strange,  nevertheless,  that  such  phenomena 
are  not  more  frequently  observed,  as  the  conditions 
for  their  existence  must  prevail  in  a  great  number  of 
cases,  according  to  the  theory  which  has  been  just 
alluded  to.  Cases  like  Harrington's,  however,  are 
extremely  rare,  and  only  casually  taken  notice  of  in 
most  works  on  physiology.  "We  give  the  following 
extracts  from  the  large  work  on  human  physiology, 
by  Dr.  Carpenter,  one  of  the  most  eminent  English 
physiologists  of  modern  times.  It  refers  to  the  sub- 
ject we  are  now  discussing,  viz.,  the  emanation  of 
light  under  exceptional  conditions  from  the  human 
body  during  life  : —  , 

"Three  cases  are  recorded  by  Sir  H.  Marsh  in  which  an  evo- 
lution of  lights  took  place  from  the  living  body;  all  the  subject* 
of  these  cases,  however,  were  in  the  last  stage  of  phthisis,  and  it 
can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  here,  as  in  other  diseases  of  exhaus- 
tion, incipient  disintegration  was  taking  place  during  the  latter 
periods  of  life.  The  light  in  each  case  is  described  as  playing 
around  the  face,  but  not  as  directly  proceeding  from  the  surface, 


Sketches  in  Carbery.  177 

and  in  one  of  those  instances,  which  was  recorded  by  Dr.  D. 
Donovan  (Dublin  Medical  Press,  January  15th,  1840),  not 
only  was  the  luminous  appearance  perceptible  over  the  head  of 
the  patient's  bed,  but  luminous  vapours  passed  in  streams 
through  the  apartment.  It  can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  it 
was  here  the  breath  which  contained  the'  luminous  compound, 
more  especially  as  it  was  observed  in  one  of  those  cases  to  have 
a  very  peculiar  smell,  and  the  probability  that  the  luminosity 
was  due  to  the  presence  of  phosphorus,  in  progress  of  slow  oxi- 
dation, is  greatly  increased  by  the  fact  already  referred  to,  that 
the  injection  of  phosphureted  oil  into  the  blood-vessels  fives 

rise  to  a  similar  appearance On  the  whole,  then, 

we  may  conclude ;  the  occasional  evolution  of  light  from  the 
human  subject  to  be  the  consequence  (when  not  au  electrical 
phenonemon)  of  the  production  of  a  phosphorescent  compound, 
at  the  expense  of  the  disintegrating  tissues,  which  compound 
passes  off  through  one  of  the  ordinary  channels  of  excretion." 

I  transcribe  the  following  two  letters,  which  were 
written  on  Harrington's  Lights,  one  by  a  personal 
observer,  the  other  by  a  literary  writer  of  the  period, 
and  which  must,  therefore,  possess  more  direct  inte- 
rest, than  any  descriptive  account,  which  is  the  result 
of  hearsay  evidence  and  report,  after  a  lengthened 
space  of  time.  The  first  is  from  the  pen  of  a  writer 
for  the  Neio  Monthly  Magazine,  a  periodical  in  exist- 
ence thirty  years  ago  : — I 

"  It  was  our  wish  to  have  gone  from  Bantry  to  Skibbereen 
to  investigate  the  marvellous  appearances  in  its  neighbourhood, 
about  which  people  were  talking  through  the  whole  south  of 
Ireland,  but  circumstances  would  not -permit  it.  Many  well* 
informed  people  who  had  visited  the  scene  had  spoken  of  it  in 
terms  that  kindled  curiosity.  All  allowed — the  ladies  in  par- 
ticular— that  there  was  a  mystery  about  it;  many  were 
rersuaded  there  was  something  supernatural.  In  a  cottage, 
about,  two  miles  from  Skibbereen,  lived  a  man  of  the  name  of 
Harrington,  poor,  yet  intelligent,  and  believed  to  be  very  pious; 
the  situation  of  his  home  was  singularly  desolate,  on  a  low, 
dreary  beach,  the  sea  in  front,  and  a  marshy  swamp  behind ; 
its  interior  was  poor,  and,  like  other  Irish  cabins,  without  win- 


i78  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

dows  ;  two  rooms,  with  a  damp,  earthen  floor,  a  cheerless  home  ' 
even  in  health  and  strength,  but  in  disease  and  helplessness  the 
cloud  of  the  valley  would  be  sweeter,  and  the  head  would  ache 
.  no  more.  •  . 

"  Three  years  since  Harrington  felt  very  ill,  and  was  confined 
wholly  to  his  bed,  yet  able  to  read  and  converse ;  his  books 
wholly  religious ;  his  only  companion  and  attendant  was  his 
mother.  A  few  months  afterwards  lights  began  to  be  visible  in 
the  cottage;  the  rumour  of  them  soon  attracted  people  from 
Skibbereen  to  the  spot,  whose  report  induced  others. from  a 
greater  distance,  from  Bantry,  Cork,  and  tats  interior,  gradually 
to  come  and  examine  for .  themselves.  It  seems  that  all  were 
struck,  and  none  satisfied  with  what  they  saw.  Their  appear- 
ance was  like  a  faint  moonlight,  that  fell  on  the  wall  of  the 
chamber ;  at  times  it  was  a  bright  light  that  covered  the  whole 
wall  or  moved  in  portions  up  and  down  it,  and  often  deepened 
into  a  yellow  tint. 

"Among  the  numerous  visitors  were  ministers,  men  of  science, 
families  from  their  country  seats,  fox-hunters,  and  devotees, 
carriages,  pedestrians,  and  horsemen.  It  was  called  at  last  the 
Skibbereen  lights,  and  baffled  every  attempt  of  the  clever  and 
credulous  to  discover  fraud  or  imposture.  In  the  inner  room, 
on  a  low  bed,  beside  the  wall,  destitute  of  every  comfort,  lay 
the  desolate  Harrington,  in  the  calm  light  of  whose  eye,  and, in 
the  composure  of  whose  tone  there  was  evidently  no  pain  of 
conscience  or  depravity  of  heart.  He  said  he  was  happy  night 
and  day  though  his  suffering  was  great.  He  never  solicited 
help  or  charity.  The  little  he  possessed  seemed  to  be  sufficient 
for  his  wants,  and  he  did  not  seem  to  care  for  more.  A -few  of 
his  visitors  sometimes  left  a  trifle  behind  them,  but  the  greater 
part  gave  nothing.  He  was  so  emaciated  that  it  seemed  as  if 
life  could  not  long  remain  in  such  a  frame  ;  the  arm  was  but 
skin  and  bone,  and  after  nearly  a  year  had  passed,  those  who 
saw  him  again  were  surprised  to  perceive  the  same  emaciation. 
He  was  about  thirty-five,  and  passed  his  time  in  reading  and  . 

prayer,  chiefly,  it  was  said,  in  the  latter 

'•  A  lady,  of  literary  powers  and  success,  related  to  us  while  at 
her  house,  a  visit  of  some  days  which  she  had  paid  to  this  scene. 
'  To  the  cottage  she  went  often,  and  saw  again  and  again  the 
lights,  and  observed  them  keenly  and  coolly,  but  could  not  trace 
or  imagine  the  cause  of  their  startling  appearance  ;  they  fell 
suddenly  on  the  wall  always  of  the  sick  man's  room,  they  flashed 
brightly  before  the  eye,  and  moved  slowly,  or  mantled  the  side 

.Sketches  in  Carbery.  If  9 

of  the  wall  in  a  steady  light,  remaining  for  some  minutes,  or 
passing  away  as  suddenly  its  tbey  came  ;  there  was  no  crevice 
or  aperture  in  the  chamber  through  which  light  could  enter ; 
there  was  a  fireplace  and  chimney,  but  no  fire  was  ever  lighted 
whilst  the  visitors  were  there,  and  clothes  were  hung  over  the 
door,  and  one  or  two  places  in  the  wall,  at  the  wish  of  those 
who  came,  that  no  gleam  could  enter,  so  that  on  these 
occasions  the  dark  chamber  was  darkened  yet  more ;  the  con- 
fined floor  was  often  covered  with  visitors,  handsomely-dressed 
women,  and  the  gay,  the  serious,  and  the  wealthy  were  there, 
and  many  a  face  was  pale,  as  if  touched  by  the  unearthly  li<rht, 
and  every  voice  was  hushed  ;  the  dying  man,  as  he  seemed  to 
all,  was  before  them,  in  whose  skeleton  hand  was  the  mystery, 
true  or  false,  of  this  extraordinary  appearance.  They  waited 
on  some  occasions  long  in  suspense,  at  others  expectation  was 
quickly  gratified.' 

"  A  gentleman,  whom  we  know,  and  who  was  several  times 
on  the  spot,  said  that  he  saw  them  once  at  noon.  The  day  is 
not  the  usual  time  of  their  appearance,  but  the  evening  and 
night.  There  is  no  noise  or  confusion  about  the  house ;  no 
Irish  sounds  of  wonder,  wail  or  alarm  ;  there  is  a  quietness  and 
decency  about  the  manners  and  demeanour  of  the  people;  their 
conduct  is  closely  observed,  and  at  these  times,  when  the  mother 
is  generally  in  the  chamber,  with  an  inquisitorial  exactness. 

"  There  is  a  cabin  at  no  great  distance  from  the  home  of 
Harrington,  where  it  was  suspected  at  first  that  some  collusion 
might  be  carried  on;  in  this  cabin,  therefore,  a  person  was 
stationed  to  detect  any  suspicious  signs,  but  there  were  none. 
The  roof  also  of  the  sick  man's  cottage  was  carefully  examined, 
and  no  clue  to  artifice  or  hypocrisy  was  found.  So  many  intel- 
ligent, educated,  and  watchful  observers  could  not  thus  be 
deceived;  such,  at  least,  was  their  own  opinion.  It  was  con- 
jectured that  from  the  desolate  and  marshy  places  behind  the 
house  some  vapour  or  miasma  might  be  the  cause.  On  exami- 
nation this  did  not  appear  to  be  possible. 

"Among  the  visitors  was  one  of  considerable  eminence  in  the 
scientific  world,  whose  calm  and  philosophic  spirit  of  investiga- 
tion could  not  discover  the  cause  of  the  celebrated  'Skibbereen 
Lights,'  which  we  saw  more  than  once.  It  was  a  fit  situation 
for  the  wonderful  and  wild  :  the  lone  cottage  of  the  friendless 
man  on  a  dreary  shore,  on  which  is  the  ceaseless  moan  of  the 
sea,  and  half  the  year,  of  the  wild  winds,  and  behind  is  a  sullen 
marsh.    Many  who  have  come  here  in  the  winter  season,  of 


180  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

even  on  a  dull  cloudy  day  have  felt  the  influence  of  the  scene.  ' 
If  there  be  deception  so  long  and  still  kept  up,  there  must  be 
exquisite  art  and  management  in  the  actors:  rarely  has  a  spot 
so  desolate  and  reft  of  human  agency  been  chosen  wherein  to  ' 
deceive  mankind. 

"  The  delusion  is  then  as  masterly  as  that  of  Mesmer,  and  if 
the  feebleness  of  the  agents  be  considered  it  is  more  successfully, 
maintained.  The  simplicity  of  the  machinery,  which  requires 
no  aid  from  the  imaginations,  or  sympathies  of  the  observers, 
gives  this  marvellous  appearance  on  the  desert  shore  the  advan- 
tage over  each  German  pretension.  Seeing  is  believing.  One 
sense  only  is  exercised,  and  that  the  most  difficult  to  be  inis«. 
taken,  in  so  confined  a  space — the  waves  in  front — the  marsh 
behind — no  fire  or  light  within — the  only  shadow  that  falls  is 
that  of  the  passing  cloud." 

The  nest  letter  is  from  Dr.  Donovan,  senior,  who 
was  medical  attendant  upon  Harrington  : —    , 


"  STdbbereen,  November  Wi,  1839. 

"In  the  description  of  Harrington's  Lights  by  the  writer  for 
the  JS'ew  Monthly  Magazine,  there  are  many  inaccuracies. 
Harrington's  house  was  not  situated  in  a  tenely  and  desolate 
spot,  but  in  a  populous  and  neat  village,  on  the  harbour  of 
Glandore,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  and  picturesque  spots  on ' 
the  southern  coast  of  Ireland,  and  instead  of  the  dreary  marsh 
to  the  rere,  there  was  a  dry,  precipitous,  and  lofty  hill.  I  will 
not  notice  any  more  of  the  errors  of  the  writer,  but  shall  proceed 
to  detail  the  real  circumstances. 

"  Quorum  pars  Magna  Fid. 

"  I  was  sent  for  in  December,  1828,  to  see  the  subject  of  this 
sketch.  He  had  been  under  the  care  of  my  predecessor,  and 
had  been  entered  in  the  dispensary  book  as  a  phthisical  patient. 
,  ,  .  .  .  He  was  under  my  care  for  about  five  years, 
during  which  time,  strange  to  say,  his  symptoms  continued 
stationary,  and  I  had  discontinued  my  attendance  for  about  two 
years,  when  the  report  became  general  that  mysterious  lights 
were  seen  in  his  cabin. 

"  The  subject  attracted  a  great  deal  of  attention,  some  attn 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


buting  the  lights  to  the  miraculous  interposition  of  Heaven, 
others  to  the  practice  of  the- black  art.  To  myself  they  were 
represented  by  one  gentleman  as  a  beacon  that  would  guide 
me  securely  into  the  harbour  of  truth,  by  another  as  an  ignis 
fatuus  that  would  lead  me  into  the  regions  of  demonism  and 
necromancy.  Not  regarding  these  views- as  offering  any  expla- 
nation of  the  mystery,  I  determined  to  subject  the  matter  to 
the  ordeal  of  my  own  senses,  and  for  this  purpose  visited  the 
cabin  for  fourteen  nights,  and  for  three  nights  only  did  I  witness 
anythirig  unusual ;  once  I  perceived  a  luminous  fog  resembling 
the  aurora  borealis ;  twice  I  saw  scintillations  like  the  sparkling 
phosphorescence  sometimes  exhibited  by  the  sea  infusoria.  At 
the  time  the  appearances  were  so  faint  as  not  to  enable  me  to 
say  with  any  degree  of  certainty  whether  they  proceeded  from 
luminous  bodies,  or  were  the  mere  freaks  of  fancy,  others 
declared  that  they  saw  brilliant  stars,  blazing  suns,  pillars  of 
fire,  &c.  &c. 

"This  discrepancy  led  many  to  attribute  these  igneous  won- 
ders to  supernatural  agency,  and  the  splendour  with  which  they 
were  seen  was  regarded  as  a  test  of  the  worthiness  of  the  beholder. 
I  would  not  consider  this  opinion  deserving  of  a  serious  refuta- 
tion, were  it  not  that  it  was  entertained  by  many  well-educated 
and  otherwise  intelligent  individuals,  and  under  these  circum- 
stances I  beg  to  be  excused  for  digressing  into  the  province  of 
the  divine  to  discuss  the  question  of  their  miraculous  origin. 

"To  constitute  a  miracle  there  must  be  an  interruption  of  the 
ordinary  laws  of  nature,  but  the  lights  in  question  were  obedient 
to  the  laws  by  which  luminous  bodies  are  governed,  viz.,  that 
the  fainter  are  eclipsed  by  the  more  brilliant,  as  to  render  them 

visible  it  was  necessary  to  extinguish  candles,  &c 

"  I  at  first  thought  some  legerdemain  had  been  practised,  but 
upon  reflection  found  that  I  was  wrong.  In  the  first  place  it  is 
improbable  that  this  dying  man,  who  had  neither  hopes  of 
living,  nor  any  wish  to  live,  would  be  guilty  of  fraud.  Secondly, 
the  respectability  and  integrity  of  those  in  immediate  com- 
munication with  him  removed  all  idea  of  collusion.  Lastly, 
from  the  close  scrutiny  I  have  made  I  can  with  certainty  say 
no  jugglery  was  either  employed  or  attempted.  Having  met 
the  foregoing  reasons  with  a  direct  negative,  I  come  now  to 
consider  those  causes,  among  which  an  explanation  of  the  phe- 
nomenon in  question  is,  I  believe,  to  be  found,  and  these  I  shall 
arrange  under  the  following  heads  ; — 

182  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

"Excitement  of  the  Imagination— Luminous  Exhalations  from  "f 
the  Soil—Phosphorescence  of  the  Retina— Evolution  of  Light  from 
the  Body  of  the  Patient.  ■  -  : 

"Excitement  of  the  Imagination. — There' was  certainly  on 
some  occasions  at  the  scene  of  these  lights  everything  calculated 
to  work  upon  the  imagination.     The  darkness  of  the  cabin,  the 
hollow,  sepulchral  voice  of  the  dying  man,  and  the  enthusiastic  : 
manner  of  the  devotees  who  sat  at  his  bedside,  were  likely  to  , 
make  a  deep  impression  on  the  mind,  and  had,  I  have  no  doubt, 
the  effect  of  magnifying  the  matter  to  the  minds  of  some,  but  ' 
these  excitants  were  not  sufficiently  strong  to  make  me  believe 
that  I  saw  light  where  it  was  not,  and,  moreover,  on  two  of  the 
nights  when  I  saw  these  appearances,  there  was  an  absence  of 
thecauses  that  I  have  enumerated  as  likely  to  excite  the  imagi- 
nation. .  .  °  J 

"  Luminous  Exhalations  from  the  Soil  are  out  of  the  question. 
In  -the  same  locality  there  were  several  other  houses,  and  yet  in 
none_  of  them  was  a  similar  phenomenon  ever  seen,  nor  in  this', 
was  it  ever  witnessed  since  or  before. 

"  Phosphorescence  of  the  Eetina. —This  property  of  the  optic 
nerve,  to  which  Sir  David  Brewster  particularly  refers  (optical 
illusions)  is  notjufficient  to  account  for  the  phenomenon  in 
question.  He  states  that  it  is  produced  by  pressure  on  the  eye- 
ball.  I  have  frequently  since  forcibly  compressed  my  eyes  with  I 
the  muscles  as  strong  as  I  could,  and  yet  have  not  been  able  to 
create  such  appearances  as  those  that  I  have  witnessed  at  Har- 
rington's ;  and  if  they  were  attributable  to  this  cause  they  should 
seem  more  vivid  immediately  after  the  candles  were  extinguished  ■ 
than  in  some  time  after  which  was  not  the  case. 

"Evolution  of  Light  from  the  Body  of  the  Sick  Man.— In  this 
I  believe  we  have  an  explanation  of  the  mystery.  I  am  of 
opinion  that  the  appearances  which  I  witnessed  were  dependent 
on  the  presence  of  phosphorescent  matter  in  the  expiratory  and 
perspiratory  secretions.  The  property  which  phosphureted- 
hydrogen  has  of  undergoing  spontaneous  combustion  when, 
brought  in  contact  with  atmospheric  air  is  well  known,  and  as 
the  components  of  which  this  is  made  up  exist  in  abundance  in 
the  human  body,  it  is  not  outstretching  the  bounds  of  proba- 
bility to  suppose^  that  it  is  sometimes  generated  in  the  living 
system.  Dr.  Apjohn  believes  that  it  is  sometimes  the  product 
of  diseased  action.  Fodere  states  that  he  has  witnessed  in  the 
Jiving  body  the  morbid  secretion  of  a  gas,  similar  in  its  properties  ; 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


to  that  which  covers  cemeteries,  and  which,  by  the  spontaneous 
production  of  flame,  forms  the  ignisfatuus,  so  frequently  observed 
in  those  localities.  The  spontaneous  combustion  of  the  human 
body  is  now  generally  admitted,  and  this  constitutes  a  much 
more  remarkable  phenomenon  than  the  one  we  have  been  con- 
sidering, as  the  morbid  secretions  in'  this  case  must  consist  of. 
much  more  inflammable  materials  than  are  merely  necessary  for 
the  production  of  light. 

"  Tiedman  attributes  the  phosphorescence  of  decayed  wood  to 
an  eminently  combustible  combination  of  carbon,  hydrogen  and 
oxygen,  and  as  all  these  simple  substances  exist  in  abundance 
in  the  human  body  their  combination  may,  under  peculiar  cir- 
cumstances, take  place,  and  produce  phosphorescent  emanations. 
To  one  or  two  of  these  causes  I  attribute  the  evolution  of  light 
from  the  body  of  my  patient.  But  it  may  be  argued,  if  lumi- 
nous exhalations  really  took  place  from  the  body  of  this  man,  as 
proceeding  from  fixed  causes,  that  their  operation  would  be  con- 
stant and  their  effect  uniform.  I  do  not  think  that  their  operation 
would  be  constant,  as  they  would  be  modified  by  the  state  of  the 
atmosphere,  as  to  electricity,  moisture,  &c,  and  as  to  the  uni- 
formity of  their  action  we  must  take  into  consideration  the  differ- 
ences in  the  mental"  constitutions  of  those  who  saw  them.  The 
faint  appearances  which  were  really  seen  by  men  of  dispassionate 
minds  were  regarded  as  inere  freaks  of  fancy,  whilst  they  were 
magnified  into  brilliant  orbs  and  resplendent  meteors  by  the 
ardent  and  enthusiastic,  who  embodied  in  phantasms  their  own 
hopes  and  fears,  and  beheld,  in  the  creations  of  their  imagina- 
tions, all  the  realities  of  direct  vision," 

1S4  Sketches  in  Carbety, 


Glandore,  origin  of  the  name— Fairy  legend  about  the  Princess 
Cleena — Carraic  Cleena — Eemarks   on  both  by  Drs.  Todd  and 

Joyce,    M.E.I. A. — Glandore    Castle — The    Fisheries Spirited 

exertions  of  James  Eedmond  Barry,  Esq. — Poem  on  Glandore— 
Capture  of  a  whale— Myross  House— The  Leap— Smith's  account 

of  the  dangerous  passage  across  the  ravine — Ballinlough Lis-an- 

Earla  and  the  legend  of  Tir-na-nOgue — Loughdrine,  and  the 
floating  islands— Fairs,  faction  fights,  and  festivities — Philosopher' 
Thompson  and  the  co-operative  communities — Scenery  between 
Eoss  and  Glandore — Pouladav,  curious  formation — Ballyverine 
House,  or  Coppinger's  Court,  and  a  short  sketch  of  Sir  Walter 
Coppinger— Benduff  Castle,  its  history— The  Morrises— Penn,  &c. 

Glandore  Harbour  is  decidedly  one  of  the  most 
picturesque  inlets  of  the  sea  along  our  southern' 
coast.  "We  do  not  observe  there  scenery  upon  a 
magnificent  or  imposing  scale,  such  as  we  witness  in 
Killarney's  far-famed  lakes,  or  amidst  the  Highlands 
of  Scotland,  or  along  the  wild  coasts  of  Norway ;  we 
have  no  rich  valleys  or  fertile  plains  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood; nevertheless,  we  perceive  a  charming 
variety  and  harmonious  arrangement  of  rock  and 
water,  of  hill  and  dale,  which  bestow  upon  this 
favoured  locality  some  secret  spell  wherewith  to  bind 
the  observer  to  the  spot,  and  create  feelings  of  plea- 
sure and  delight  in  the  most  careless  spectator,  as 
well  as  in  the  most  ardent  lover  of  nature. 

The  ancient  name  of  Glandore  was  Cuan  Dor,  or 
more  properly,  according  to  the  local  Irish  pronun- 
ciation, "Cuan  Dair,"  which  would  signify  The 
Harbour  of  the  Oak,  which  tree  was  in  former  times 


Sketches  in  Carboy.  185 

so  abundant  throughout  Ireland,  and  no  doubt 
nourished  luxuriantly  in  the  immediate  neighbour- 
hood of  Glandore,  where  it  still  remains  partly  rooted 
to  the  soil.  Cuan  Dor,  according  to  Dr.  Todd,  who 
is  a  great  authority,  means  the  golden  harbour :  the 
pronunciation  by  the  resident  population  does  not 
confirm  this  meaning. 


To  pass  from  fact  to  fiction,  from  everyday  life 
to  the  misty  regions  of  romance  and  legendary  lore, 
I  beg  to  introduce  to  the  reader's  notice  one  of  the 
many  fairy  legends  which,  although  of  an  unreal 
nature,  has,  however,  imparted  a  considerable  share 
of  notoriety  and  fame  to  the  name  of  Glandore. 
Cliodhna  (Cleena),  the  queen  of  the  fairies  of  South 
Munster,  is  said  to  have  been  chained  to  a  rock  near 
Glandore  harbour ._  Her  deeds  of  supernatural  pOwer 
and  the  fairy  spells  she  exercised  over  mortals  have 
been  celebrated  from  time  immemorial  in  the  ancient 
manuscripts  of  the  county,  and  in  the  traditionary 
stories  of  the  peasantry.  In  a  work  of  the  late  Dr. 
Todd,  of  Trinity  College,  entitled  "  The  War  of  the 
Gaedhill  against  the  Gaill ;  or,  Invasions  of  Ireland 
by  the  Danes  and  other  Norsemen,"  is  the  following 
passage: — "During  Brian  Boru's  administration 
he  banished  and  enslaved  the  foreigners,  and  rescued 
the  country  from  oppression.  A  lone  woman  might 
have  walked  in  safety  from  Torach,.now  Tory  Island, 
off  the  north  coast  of  Donegal,  to  Cliodhna,  a  rock 
in  the  harbour  of  Glandore,  i.  e.,  through  tbe  whole 
length  of  Ireland,  carrying  a  ring  of  gold  on  a  horse 
rod."  Referring  to  Cuan  Dor,  he  remarks : — "  In 
this  bay  is  the  rock  called  Cliodhna's,  upon  which 

186     _  Sketches  in  Carlery?- 

beats  a  wave  called  Tonn  Cliodhna  (Tun  Cleena) 
Cliodhna's  wave  is  said  to  utter  a  plaintive  sound'? 
when   a  monarch   of  the   south   of  Ireland  dies."' 
Cliodhna  was  the  name  of  a  princess  in  an  ancient 
Irish  legend — 

"  'Twas  said  whene'er  a  monarch  dropped 
Off  Munster's  roll  of  fame, 
From  the  wave  which  Carraic  Cleena  stopped, 
A  wail  of  sorrow  came."  ,     " 

In  another  part  of  the  work  is  the  following  trans- 
lation from  an  ancient  Irish  manuscript :—"  After : 
the  banishment  of  the  foreigners  out  of  Erinn,  and 
after  Erinn  was  reduced  to  a  state  of  peace,  a  lone 
woman  came  from  Torach,  in  the  north  of  Erinn,' 
carrying  a  ring  of  gold  on  a  horse-rod,- and  she  was 
neither  robbed  nor  insulted,  whereupon  the  poet 


"  From  Torach  to  pleasant  Cliodhna, 

And  carrying  with  her  a  ring  of  gold, 
In  the  time  of  Brian,  of  the  bright  side,  fearless, 
A  lone  woman  made  the  circuit  of  Erin." . 

This  was  the  original  poem,  which  roused  the  magio  • 
power  of  song  in  the  soul  of  Ireland's  most  illustrious 
poet,  and  suggested  to  him  the  idea  of  that  most 
beautiful  Irish  melody : 

"  Eich  and  rare  were  the  gems  she  wore." 

"Warner,  in  his  " History  of  Ireland,"  Vol;  i., 
Book  x.,  alluding  to  this  subject,  tells  us  the  anec- 
dote as  follows : — 

"  The  people  were  inspired  with  such  a  sense  of 
honour,  virtue,  and  religion,  by  the  great  example 
of  Brian,  and  by  his  excellent  administration,  that, 
as  a  proof  of  it,  we  are  informed  that  a  young  lady,- 

Sketches  in  Carhery.  187 

of  great  beauty,  adorned  with  jewels  and  a  costly 
dress,  undertook  a  journey  alone  from  one  end  of 
the  kingdom  to  another,  with  a  wand  only  in  her 
hand,  at  the  top  of  which  was  a  ring  of  exceeding- 
great  value,  and  such  an  impression  had  the  laws 
and  government  of  this  monarch  made  on  the  minds 
of  all  the  people  that  no  attempt  was  made  on  her 
honour,  nor  was  she  robbed  of  her  clothes  or 

In  Corca  Laidhe  the  following  remarks  are  made 
regarding  Carraic  Cliodhna : — 

"Between  Ross  Bay  and  the  Galley  Head,  a 
strand  is  situated  called  Traigh  Claine  (the  slop- 
ing strand),  off  which  standing  in  the  water 
at  a  short  distance  from  the  beach  is  a  rock 
called  Carraic  Cliodhna."  Such  being  the  case, 
it  is  about  four  miles  to  the  east  of  Glandore  Har- 

It  was  also  called  the  "  Bock,"  par  excellence,  to 
distinguish  it  from  other  rocks  in  the  vicinity,  which 
were  of  less  note  and  importance.  The  veritable 
Carraic  Cliodhna,  answering  to  the  above  descrip- 
tion, is  pointed  out  by  the  peasantry  to  any  person 
who  chooses  to  make  inquiries.  It  is  immediately 
underneath  Castle  Freke,  near  the  water's  edge,  off 
the  sloping  strand,  and  resembles  in  the  dis- 
tance the  dark-looking  hull  of  an  iron-clad  man  of 
war.  : 

When  the  surf  breaks  on  this  rock,  the  contrast  is 
very  marked  between  the  dark  hue  of  Carraic 
Cliodhna,  and  the  white-crested  waves,  and  pro- 
duces a  striking  effect. 

Before  bringing  to  a  close  my  remarks  on  the 
renowned  fairy  queen,  or  banshee,  and  her  sea- 
girt prison,  it  will  prove  interesting  to  introduce  the 

188  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

following   extract  from  Dr.  Joyce's  work,"  "Irish. 
Names  of  Places  "  : — 

"Besides  the  celebrated  fairy  haunts  mentioned 
at  page  170,  there  are  several  other  places  in  diffe-< 
rent  parts  of  Ireland,  presided  over,  each  by  its  own i 
guardian   spirit,  and  among  them  several  female 
fairies  or  banshees.     Some  of  these  are  very  famous 
and  though  belonging  to  particular  places,  are  cele- 
brated by  the   bards   over  the  whole   of  Ireland." 
Cloidhna  (Cleena)  is  the  potent  banshee  that  rules 
as  queen  over  the  fairies  of  south  Munster ;  and  yon 
will  hear  innumerable  stories  among  the  peasantry 
of  the  exercise  of  her  powerful  spells.    Edward  Walsh. 
makes  his  lover  of  'O'Donovan's  Daughter'  thus 
express  himself: — 

"  '  God  grant  'tis  no  fay  from  Knockfierna  that  woos  me, 
God  grant  'tis  not  Cleena  the  queen  that  pursues  me, 
That  my  soul,  lost  and  lone,  has  no  witchery  wrought  her. 
While  I  dream  of  dark  groves  and  O'Donovan's  daughter. 

"  In  the  '  Dinnsenchus'  there  is  an  ancient  poetical 
love  story,  of  which  Cleena  is  the  heroine,  wherein , 
it  is  related  that  she  was  a  foreigner,  and  that  she 
was  drowned  in  the  harbour  of  Giandore,  near  Skib- 
bereen,  in  Cork.  In  this  harbour  the  sea  at  certain 
times  utters  a  very  peculiar,  deep,  hollow,  and  melan- 
choly roar  among  the  caverns  of  the  cliffs,  and  this 
surge  has  been  from  time  immemorial  called  .Tonn- 
Cleena  (Cleena's  wave).  Cleena  had  her  palace  in 
the  heart  of  a  great  rock,  situated  about  five  miles 
south  south-west  from  Mallow.  It  is  still  well 
known  by  the  name  of  Carrig-Cleena,  and  it  has 
given  name  to  two  townlands." 

Two    castles    formerly  flourished    at    Giandore. 
They  have  been  replaced  now  to  a  great  extent  by 

Sketches  in  Carbefy. 


buildings  of  a  more  modern  date.  The  one  near  the 
harbour's  mouth  was  called  Kilfinnan.  The  other 
situated  near  the  village  of  Glandore,  and  at  present 
styled  Glandore  Castle,  the  property  of  James  Red- 
mond Barry,  was  formerly  called  Cloghatrabally, 
meaning  the  "  stone  fortress  of  the  strand  town." 
It  was  built  by  the  chief  of  the  Barretts  of  Munster, 
A.  D.  1215.  Timoleague  and  Dundeide  Castle  were 
built  about  the  same  time  by  Nicholas  Boy  De  Barry. 
In  A.  D.  1260,  Glandore  Castle  was  broken  down 
by  Finghin  Reanna  Roin,  son  of  Domhnall  Cot 
McCarthy.  It  was  rebuilt  soon  again,  and  then 
after  a  long  lapse  of  time  came  into  the  possession 
of  Domhnall  Na  Caston  O'Donovan,  the  chief  of 
Clanloughlin,  a  district  lying  between  Glandore  and 
Ross.  This  chieftain  died  in  1580  (see  "  Annals  of 
Innisfallen").  Like  many  other  old  castles,  that  of 
Glandore  is  said  to  have  had  underground  cells  or 
chambers,  from  which  subterranean  passages  led  down 
towards  the  sea-side.  These  were  used  as  places  of 
retreat  and  modes  of  escape  in  times  of  pressing 

In  former  years,  not  long  past  either,  regattas 
were  annual  occurrences  in  Glandore,  and  all  the 
arrangements  connected  with  them  were  perfect  and 
on  a  most  advanced  scale.  Yachts  came  round  from 
Queenstown  to  compete  for  prizes,  and  crews  of  stal- 
wart peasants  from  the  surrounding  country  dis- 
played their  prowess  as  oarsmen  in  friendly  rivalryi 
The  entire  performance  wound  up  with  a  ball  at  the 
Castle.  On  these  occasions  the  village  and  the  ad^ 
jacent  positions  of  advantage  for  sightseers  were 
thronged  with  a  gay  and  cheerful  crowd,  in  holiday 
costume,  enjoying  the  amusements  of  the  day,  and 
no  more  charming  tout  ensemble  could  be  observed 


Sketches  in  Carbery, 

than  that  which  Grlandore  presented  on  a  fine  regatta- 
day.         * 

Grlandore,  as  a  fishing  station,  ought  to  attain  to 
some  importance  if  capital  were  expended,  and  enter- 
prise and  energy  awakened  to  carry  out  a  more  com- 
plete and  extensive  system  of  deep-sea  fishing '  than 
exists  at  present.     The  sea  off  Grlandore,  and,  in 
fact  off  all  the  harhours  along  the  coast,  abounds  in 
edible  fish  of  all  varieties.     The  native  fishermen, 
owing  to  want  of  scientific  training  and  capital,  have 
neither  boats,  luggers,  nor  smacks,  as  a  rule,  suffi- 
ciently seaworthy  and  capacious,  nor  fishing  gear  of- 
proper  efficiency  to  enable  them  to  take  larger  hauls 
of  fish  in  the  deep  waters.     The  consequence  is  that 
during  the   summer  months  fleets  of  luggers  and 
smacks  come  across  from  Cornwall,  the  Isle  of  Man, 
Boulogne,  and  Dieppe  to  the  Irish  coast,  where. the 
mackerel,  pilchards,  and  herrings  swarm  in  immense 
shoals,  and  make  a  rich  harvest.     A  single  take  of 
fish  is  sometimes  valued  at  £200.     During  the  year 
1868  it  appears  that  over  £100,000  worth  of  fish 
was  exported  by  the  foreign  fishermen  who  frequent 
Eansale  Harbour,  and  this  is  probably  now  on  the 
increase.    These  facts  show  a  great  want  of  employed 
capital,  local  enterprise,  and  development  of  indus- 
trial resources  in   this  part  of  the  country,  when 
French  and  English  luggers  come  from  such  a  dis- 
tance, and  almost  monopolize  the  deep-sea  fisheries 
along  the  coast,  which  should  be,  if  things  were 
managed  properly,  an  abundant  source  of  employ- 
ment to  the  labouring  classes  of  the  community,  and 
which  constitute  a  very  important  branch  of  com- 
merce and  industry  in  every  country. 

Lewis,  in  his  topographical  dictionary,  referring 
to  Grlandore,  says; — "This  seems  to  have  .been  a 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


place  of  some  importance  at  an  early  period,  as 
appears  from  the  erection  of  the  castles  01'  Glandore 
and  Kilfinnan.  Formany  years  it  continued  in  an 
impoverished  state,  but  it  has  again  become  a  place 
of  considerable  note  through  the  spirited  exertions 
of  its  present  proprietor,  J.  Eedmond  Barry,  Esq., 
who  has,  -within  the  last  few  years,  expended  upwards 
of  £10,000  in  various  improvements."  The  result 
of  this  benevolence  and  praiseworthy  exertion  in 
developing  the  resources  of  the  place  has  been  to 
secure  for  him  the  warm  esteem  and  deep  respect 
of  the  gentry  and  people  in  the  barony  of  Car- 

The  charms  of  Glandore  have  been  celebrated  in 
verse  by  Dr.  Murray,  whose  graphic  and  descriptive 
lines  are,  I  am  sure,  familiar  to  the  generality  of  my 
readers.  I  have  ventured  to  introduce  the  following 
lines,  written  during  a  leisure  hour,  while  sojourning 
at  Glandore  and  admiring  the  beautiful  scenery  of 
the  neighbourhood,  so  favoured  by  nature,  and  so 
interesting  in  every  feature. 


Of  all  the  gems  which  deck  our  isle, 
And  stud  our  native  shore, 

None  wears  for  me  a  sunny  smile 
So  bright  as  sweet  Glandore. 

Though  other  views  may  far  excel, 
In  wooded  mount  and  lake, 

In  sparkling  stream  and  lonely  dell, 
Thee  I  can  ne'er  forsake . 

Glandore's  romantic  harbour,  glen, 

A  tribute  well  may  claim 
From  far  a  worthier  writer's  penj 

To  celebrate  thy  fame. 

192  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

Eillarney's  lakes  and  changing  skies 
•     Her  mountains  bold  and  grand 
May  bear  away  the  highest  prize  ' 
For  beauty  in  our  land.'  ' 

GlengarifF,  too,  with  varied  scene, 
And  charms  that  never  tire, 

With  fairy  nooks  of  emerald  green 
I  love  so,  and  admire. 

Where  some  bright  spell  for  ever  wakes, 

To  chain  us  to  the  spot ; 
Such  impress  on  the  mind  it  makes 

Once  seen  'tis  ne'er  forgot. 

Behold  the  broad  and  sparkling  Lee 
With  verdant  banks  so  fair, 

No  river  runs  into  the  sea 
That  with  thee  can  compare. 

But  oh  !  there  is  some  magic  power 
Which  holds  a  greater  sway, 

And  still  it  grows  with  every  hour 
In  Glandore's  placid  bay. 

For  here  the  thoughts  of  youth's  gay  timet 
Of  boyhood's  pleasant  days, 

Will  make  it  seem  to  us  sublime, 
Whilst  wandering  through  life's  maze. 

The  gentle  zephyr  from  the  south 
Comes  stealing  o'er  the  sea, 

And  wafted  in  the  harbour's  mouth, 
Blows  o'er  the  fertile  lea. 

It  whispers  softly  to  the  groves, 
Which  bud  forth  in  the  spring, 

And  through  the  beautous  flowers  it  roves, 
Which  summer  time  doth  bring. 

Close  to  a  white  and  shelving  strand 

An  ancient  castle  's  seen, 
Where  chieftains  held  a  high  command 

In  olden  times  I  ween. 

Sketches  in  Cavbevy. 

A  verdant  sward  around  is  spread, 

And  ivy-clad  the  walls ; 
Alas !  its  glories  all  have  fled, 

Deserted  are  its  halls. 

Yes  !  it  is  not  so  much  the  soft, 

And  fragrant  balmy  air, 
That  bids  us  linger  here  so  oft 

EDj'oy  each  scene  so  fair. 

'Tis  musing  o'er  the  happy  past 
We  spent  with  friends  of  yore  ; 

Such  memories  I  cherish  fast, 
And  link  them  with  Glandore. 

Though  clouds  may  dim  the  sky  at  times, 
And  storms  may  hover  round, 

I  love  thee  more  than  other  climes, 
Where  azure  skies  abound. 

When  twilight  steals  from  out  the  west, 

At  eve  of  summer  day, 
"  And  nature  tired  inclines  to  rest, 
I  glance  out  on  the  bay. 

And  often  linger  on  the  beach, 

Past  times  to  ponder  o'er, 
Each  merry  laugh  and  pleasant  speech 

I  heard  in  dear  Glandore. 

Farewell,  thou  charming,  treasured  spot 

On  Carb'ry's  sea-girt  shore, 
Thy  beauty  ne'er  will  be  forgot 

By  one  who  loves  Glandore. 


About  twenty-five  years  ago,  a  whale  of  very  large 
proportions  paid  a  visit  to  Glandore  Harbour.  It 
belonged  to  a  species  called  the  "  Rorqual,  or  Razor 
Backed,"  the  largest  of  the  whale  tribe,  some  of 
which  attain  to  the  length  of  110  feet.     This  specie 


194  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

men  was   about  seventy-five   feet  long,  the  other 
measurements  being  in  proportion.     "WHlst  in  the 
eager  pursuit  of  a  shoal  of  fish,  he  approached  the 
harbour's  mouth,  and  ran  aground  near  The  Sta< 
of  Beans,  a  rock  near  the  east  end  of  Rabbit  Idan 
He   contrived  to  get  jammed  between  two 
rocks,  during  the  ebb  of  the  tide,  and  remained  so 
perfectly  motionless  at  the  time  that  he  was  supposed 
by  lookers-on  to  be  dead.    On  the  return  of  the  tide 
when  placed  in  his  native  element,  he  flapped  about 
violently  with  his  tail,  making  desperate  efforts  to 
extricate  himself  (all  to  no  purpose,  however)  from 
the  constrained  position  he  was  in,  and  caused  con- 
siderable commotion  amongst  many  persons  present, 
who  were  unprepared  for  such  an  event.     A  novel 
plan  was  adopted  in  order  to  secure  the  whale  in  the 
position  he  had  taken  up ;  a  large  hole  was  dug  in 
the  blubber,  and  the  fluke  of  a  heavy  anchor  imbedded 
firmly  in   this  hole.     .The  whale  was   claimed  as 
Royalty,  but  after  some  time,  in  consequence  of  its 
rapid  decomposition  and  the  offensive  smell  gene- 
rated, it  had  to  be  towed  into  deep  water  and  sunk. 
As  we  follow  the  windings  of  the  harbour  towards 
Leap,  we  cannot  fail  being  impressed  with  thepio- 
turesque  nature  of  the  scenery,  which  only  requires 
a  more  general  distribution  of  wood  to  render  it  per- 
fect.    Near  Leap  is  situated  the  demesne  of  Myross 
Wood,  which  has  a  very  pleasing  effect  when  seen 
from  the  opposite  side,  the  green  slopes  and  rising 
grounds  being  thickly  wooded  down  to  the  water's 
edge.     Myross  House  is  a  plain,  substantial,  and 
commodious-looking  house;  it  formerly  was  the  resi-. 
dence  of  the  third  Earl  of  Kingston,  before  he-built 
Mitchelstown  Castle,  one  of  the  finest  private  resi- 
dences in  the  south  of  Ireland.    Myross  House  after- 


Sketches  in  Carbcry. 


wards  belonged  to  a  Mr.  Coppinger,  and  finally  came 
into  the  possession  of  its  present  proprietor,  J.  H. 
Townsend,  Esq. 

On  the  west  side  of  Glandore  Harbour,  near  the 
Leap,  underneath  Myross  House,  a  small  island 
existed  formerly,  which,  according  to  Smith,  was 
formed  in  a  very  peculiar  manner.     He  says : 

"  That,  by  the  working  of  the  sea  previous  to  his 
own  time,  a  large  part  of  the  hill  fell  down,  on  which 
grew  some  trees.  This  piece  formed  an  island  of 
about  twenty  yards  in  circumference,  and  the  trees 
continued  to  grow,  but  it  is  now  almost  completely 
washed  away." 

At  the  extreme  end  of  Grlandore  Harbour  stands 
the  little  village  of  Leap,  anciently  called  Ceann 
Mara  (the  Head  of  the  Sea) . 

O'Donovan,  in  "The  Genealogy  of  Corca  Laidhe  " 
makes  the  following  annotation :  "  Ceann  Mara 
(Head  of  the  Sea)  :  this  was.  the  ancient  name  of 
the  head  of  Cuan  Dor,  or  Glandore  Harbour,  at 
O'Donovan's  Leap."  The  latter  appellation  it  derived 
from  a  person  of  that  name  having  formerly  accom- 
plished a  wonderful  jump  across  the  deep  ravine 
near  the  little  village. 

This  place  formed  part  of  the  route  through  which 
Sir  George  Carew's  army  marched  on  their  way  to 
the  siege  of  Dunboy,  as  we  learn  from  the  "  Pacata 
Hibernia"  that,  after  leaving  Eosscarbery  on  the 
25th  April,  1602,  Carew  passed  over  The  Leap,  thence 
to  Castlehaven  and  Baltimore,  and  so  on.  Before 
the  present  main  road  was  laid  down  across  Leap 
the  passage  over  the  ravine  must  have  been  difficult 
and  dangerous.     Smith  says : — 

"  At  the  upper  end  of  Glandore  Harbour  is  a  deep 
and  dangerous  glen,  called   '  The  Leap,'  on  both 


196  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

sides  of  which  is  the  high  road  from  Eoss  to  the 
other  parts  of  "West  Carbery.  The  road  crosses  this 
glen,  which  is  here  as  steep  as  a  flight  of  stairs,  so 
that  few  horses  hut  those  that  are  well  used  to  it 
would  attempt  it  with  courage." 

Close  to  Leap  is  Brede  House,  formerly  the  seat 
of  the  Jervois  family  in  Carbery.  About  the  begin- 
ning of  the  present  century  the  Eev.  Arthur  Herbert, 
Eector  of  Myross,  purchased  a  portion  of  the  Jervis 
estate,  and  erected  there,  on  the  west  side  of  Grlan- 
dore  Harbour,  Myross  House,  already  noticed  in  a 
recent  paragraph. 

At  one  place,  a  short  distance  above  the  bridge, 
near  Leap,  though  the  breadth  across  is  only  a  few 
feet,  there  is  a  clear  descent  to  the  bottom  on  either 
side  of  about  fifty  feet,  the  surface  of  the  rock  at 
the  same  time  being  as  smooth  as  if  it  were  cut  with 
a  saw. 

The  small  stream  which  runs  through  the  ravine 
and  into  Glandore  Harbour,  comes  from  a  lake  called 
Ballinlough,  situated  about  two  miles  to  the  north  of 
Leap,  in  the  parish  of  Kilmacabea.  This  diminutive 
stream  has  the  honour  of  forming  the  boundary  line 
between  the  Baronies  of  East  and  "West  Carbery. 
In  the  olden  times  all  that  part  of  Carbery  which 
lay  to  the  west  of  Leap  was  in  a  very  unreclaimed 
state,  and  its  fastnesses  and  bogs  afforded  such  facility 
for  escape  and  concealment  to  persons  dreading  crimi- 
nal prosecutions  for  acts  of  violence,  or  to  persons 
fearing  political  persecution,  that  the  following  saying 
passed  into  a  sort  of  proverb  : — 

"  Beyond  the  T.eap,  beyond  the  law." 

From  the  high  land  to  the  north  of  Leap,  called 
Keamore,  may  be  obtained  a  good  view  of  Grlandore 

Sketches  in  Carbery. 


and    Castletownsend  Harbours,   and  the   adjacent 

Ballinlough  Lake  was  formerly  celebrated  for  its 
large  red  trout.  It  was  also  called  Aghill  Lough, 
aghill  being  a  species  of  freshwater  eel  which  abounded 
in  the  lake.  It  is  a  curious  fact  that  shell-fish  are 
found  in  its  waters,  especially  wrinkles,  exactly 
similar  to  those  which  exist  on  the  sea-beach.  On 
the  north  side  of  Ballinlough,  near  the  road,  on  the 
summit  of  a  steep  hill,  we  observe  a  very  fine  lis, 
popularly  called  a  Danish  fort,  styled  Lis  an  Earla 
(the  Earl's  Fort).  In  the  enclosure  within  the  inner 
rampart  are  numerous  pits  leading  to  subterranean 
passages,  most  of  which  are  nearly  closed  up  at  pre- 
sent by  the  sinking  in  of  the  soil.  One  of  these  pas- 
sages is  said  to  have  led  down  to  the  lake. 

Mrs.  and  Mr.  Hall,  in  their  work  on  Ireland,  refer 
to  a  strange  legend  connected  with  this  old  lis — 
the  tradition  being  that  the  subterranean  passage 
imagined  to  connect  it  with  the  lake  was  carefully 
guarded  by  the  fairies  both  day  and  night.  It  was 
also  believed  to  lead  to  some  bright  and  happy 
elysium  beneath  the  waters  of  the  lake  called  Tir- 
na-noge  (the  land  of  youth),  whose  inhabitants 
never  suffered  from  the  infirmities  of  old  age,  but 
always  basked  in  the  sunlight  of  perennial  youth. 

About  two  miles  east  of  Ballinlough,  and  a  mile 
east  of  Conanagh,  we  observe  a  small  lake  called 
Lough  Adereen,  very  insignificant  in  appearance,  but 
still  worthy  of  notice.  The  lake  is  bounded  on  one 
side  by  a  bog,  which  has  encroached  upon  its  surface, 
making  it  much  smaller  now  than  it  formerly  was. 
Small  floating  islands,  at  one  time  in  considerable 
numbers,  existed  on  the  lake — a  few  are  only  to  be 
seen   now.     These   islands  were   supposed  by  the 

198  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

country  people  to  change  places,  and  shift  from  one 
side  to  the  other  upon  one  particular  day  in  the  year, 
and  hence  they  believed  that  there  was  something 
miraculous  about  the  matter. 

The  islands  themselves  are  formed  in  a  peculiar 
manner — portions  of  coarse  grass,  blown  by  strong 
winds  upon  the  surface  of  the  water  during  the 
autumn,  occasionally  become  matted  together  by 
their  tenacious  roots,  and  whilst  floating  round  the  ] 
sides  of  the  lake  collect  particles  of  earth  and  seeds 
of  plants.  In  this  way  a  small  island  is  formed  in 
course  of  time,  which  is  enabled  to  float  on  the  sur- 
face by  reason  of  the  light  and  turfy  nature  of  its 
component  parts.  Sometimes  also  portions  of  the 
bog,  by  the  undermining  action  of  the  water,' 
become  detached  from  the  mainland,  and  also  form 
smallfloatingislands,  on  which  growshrubs  and  weeds. 

We  observe  a  small  island  of  the  same  formation 
on  one  of  the  Shepperton  Lakes.  They  are  very 
numerous  in  Carnarvonshire,  but  the  place  most 
celebrated  for  its  floating  islands  was  the  lake  near 
the  city  of  Mexico,  where  Prescott  says  that  they 
existed  in  large  numbers,  and  some  of  them  so  ex- 
tensive that  they  formed  residences  for  colonies  of 
the  people,  who  gained  a  livelihood  by  the  cultiva- 
tion of  vegetables  and  flowers  on  these  peculiar 
dwelling-places.  Whenever  the  residents  wanted  to 
change  from  one  locality  to  another  they  moved  the 
islands  about  the  edge  of  the  lake  by  the  use  of  long 

To  return,  however,  to  the  subject  we  are  dis- 
cussing, we  find  that  formerly  great  numbers  of 
people  collected  together  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Lough  Adereen,  and  that  the  same  observances  were 
carried  on  many  years  ago  which  exist  in  a  minor  degree 

Sketches  in  Carlery. 


at  the  present  day.  Close  to  the  lake  is  pointed  out 
a  spot  where  once  was  an  altar.  It  was  also  the 
custom  to  tie  pieces  of  cloth  to  a  neighbouring  bush, 
and  bring  portions  of  bread  and  meal  with  which  to 
feed  the  fish  of  the  lake.  Patterns  and  fairs  were 
also  held  here  on  the  east  side  of  the  lake,  on  a 
townland  called  Gortroe,  and  on  these  occasions, 
music,  dancing,  and  feastings  were  the  order  of  the 
day,  which  generally  wound  up  with  faction-fights 
or  a  general  scrimmage. 

The  various  septs,  and  families  in  the  parish  of 
Kilmacabea  made  use  of  the  fairs  and  patterns  as 
opportunities  for  testing  their  comparative  merits  in 
the  handling  of  the  shillelagh.  The  place  was  very 
convenient,  too,  for  such  engagements,  as  blackthorns 
and  oak-sticks  grew  abundantly  in  the  neighbour- 
hood. However,  from  use  of  the  stick,  when  long- 
continued  disputes  had  fired  their  blood,  and  roused 
a  sanguinary  spirit,  they  proceeded  to  the  adoption 
of  deadlier  weapons — guns,  swords,  bayonets,  and 

About  fifty  years  ago  a  terrible  fight  occurred,  in 
which  a  man  named  Callaghan  was  shot  down  and 
bayoneted.  After  this  occurrence  the  patterns  and 
fairs  died  out,  chiefly  through  the  influence  of  Dr. 
Collins,  who  was  Bishop  of  Ross  at  the  time.  Al- 
though we  must  hail  with  satisfaction  the  dying  out 
of  the  faction-fights  of  olden  times,  we  must  admit 
that  with  them  have  become  extinct,  in  a  great 
degree,  the  rollicking  fun  and  jovial  merriment 
which  characterised  the  Irishmen  of  a  former  era- 

In  the  neighbourhood  of  Lough  Adereen,  referred 
to  in  the  last  sketch,  is  a  townland  called  Carhoogariff 
(the  rough  quarter).  This  land  belonged,  about 
forty  years  ago,  to  a  very  remarkable  and  eccentric 

200  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

personage,  a  philosopher  (Thompson),  whoso  peculiar 
habits,   strange   creed,   and   extraordinary  theories 
created  a  great  sensation  in  Glandore,  and  the  imme 
diate  vicinity  at  the  period  alluded  to. 

The  philosopher  was  the  son  of  a  Cork  merchant 
lie  spent  a  considerable  portion  of  his  time  in  France 
and  Belgium  previous  to  1830,  where  he  imbibed 
the  revolutionary  doctrines  prevalent  in  France  at 
the  time.  He  was  in  the  habit  of  visiting  Glandore 
occasionally,  and  settled  down  there  a  short  time 
before  his  death,  which  took  place  in  1832. 

He  soon  became  a  man  of  local  celebrity  on  account 
of  the  eccentricity  of  his  character.  Thompson 
belonged  to  a  society  called  Communists,  or  Social- 
ists, which  made  itself  prominent  in  his  time  ;  they 
existed  in  France  under  the  name  of  St.  Simonians, 
and  also  m  the  United  States.  These  men  derived 
their  political  and  moral  ideas  from  the  writings  of 
Voltaire,  and  other  sceptical  philosophers  of  his 
stamp.  In  Scotland  and  England,  Owen,  Hamil- 
ton, and  Combe  were  the  chief  supporters  of  the 

It  appears  that,  in  the  year  1830,  300  of  these  co- 
operative trading  fund  associations,  as   they  were 
called,  were  associated  together  in  England,  Ireland, 
and  Scotland.    The  central  one  was  situated  in  Lon- 
don, at  Eed  Lion  Square,  and  called  the  London 
Association  for  the  Promotion  of  Co-operative  Know- 
ledge.    The  government  of  the  body  was  deputed 
to  central  and  local  boards,  chosen  annually  by  a 
congress  of  delegates  from  all  the  branches  of  the 
association.     At   a   co-operative   congress,   held  in 
London,  during  the  year  1869,  it  was  proved  that  in 
1867,  171,807  members  existed,  with  a  capital  of 
£o,001,lo3,    but  it  was   fully   admitted   that  the 


Sketches  in  Garbery.  201 

acquisition    of  wealth   alone  was  their    main   ob- 

Thompson  being  in  possession  of  Carhoogariff, 
and  having  a  considerable  amount  of  money  at  his 
command,  determined  on  gratifying  his  hobby  and 
carrying  into  practical  effect  his  favourite  idea, 
viz.,  "  The  establishment  of  a  community  on  the 
principles  of  mutual  co-operation,  united  possessions, 
and  equality  of  exertions  and  the  means  of  enjoy- 
ment." The  philosopher  wrote  a  work,  indicating  in 
its  title  the  principles  referred  to.  Under  the  system 
which  he  wished  to  establish,  a  number  of  persons 
were  to  settle  on  a  spot  of  ground,  which  was  to  be 
divided  into  equal  lots  of,  say  one  acre  to  each  person, 
every  individual  at  the  same  time,  bringing  in  a 
capital  of  from  £20  to  £100,  as  the  case  might  be. 
Each  person  was  to  pursue  the  avocation  in  life 
which  pleased  him  most,  or  for  which  he  was  best 
suited.  He  was  to  have  an  interest,  and  share  in 
the  general  property  of  the  community  whilst  he 
contributed  by  his  personal  exertions  to  the  welfare 
of  all,  exchanging  when  he  wished  the  products  of 
his  own  industry  for  any  articles  belonging  to  other 
members  which  he  might  require,  and  so  forth. 

Thompson  laid  the  foundations  of  a  row  of  build- 
ings at  Carhoogariff,  where  the  co-operative  com- 
munity should  reside.  Not  content  with  building 
castles  in  the  air,  he  determined  to  build  on  a  more 
solid  foundation,  and  accordingly  he  erected  a  sort 
of  modern  round  tower  or  turret  at  Carhoogariff,  and 
furnished  it  as  a  private  residence.  The  ruins  of 
the  turret  are  to  be  seen  at  present.  The  philosopher, 
however,  did  not  live  to  carry  into  execution  his 
Utopian  views,  as  death  cut  him  off  in  the  midst  of 
his  speculations.     He  died  in  1832. 

202  Sketches  in  Cavbery. 

All   ideas   of  establishing   the   community  were  ' 
abandoned  on  his  death.     He  left  the  hulk  of  his  • 
property  to  some  co-operative  society  to  carry  out  ' 
the  formation   of  a  socialist  community.     His  will 
was  upset  at  law,  being  declared  invalid,  as  it  was 
maintained  that  the  property  was  willed  for  immoral- 
purposes,  one  of  his  peculiar  principles  being  that"7 
there  should  be  no  necessity  for  marriage  ceremonies  m 
in  the  society,  but  that  there  should  be  a  community^ 
of  wives  as  well  as  of  property.     Thompson,  though- 
a  visionary  and  a  theorist,  was  a  man  of  acute  intel-' 
lect,  and  considerable  information.     He  was  a  strict 
vegetarian,  and  very  temperate  in  his  habits.     His 
political  opinions  were  those  of  a  Eed  Bepublican;  - 
having  spent  a  portion  of  his  life  in  France.     He 
adopted  as  his  political  code  the  revolutionary  ideas 
which  prevailed  there  at  the  time,  and  which  reached . ' 
their  climax  in  1830.    He  used  to  walk  about  Grlan- 
dore,  carrying  a  tri-coloured  flag  at  the  end  of  his 
walking-stick.    The  country  people  looked  upon  him. 
as  a  sort  of  magician,  as  he  was  in  the  habit  of  pub- 
licly exhibiting  experiments  of  a  chemical  nature.  : 
The  philosopher  was  considered  a  man  of  ability  by 
his  own  peculiar  fraternity. 

One  of  Thompson's  more  practicable  and  reason- 
able speculations  was  the  establishment  of  a  Deep 
Sea  Fishery  Company  to  superintend  and  develop 
the  fisheries  along  the  south  coast,  making  Glandore 
the  chief  depot  and  centre  of  action,  but  this,  like 
the  other  projects,  fell  to  the  ground.  In  his  will 
he  bequeathed  his  body  to  his  medical  attendant, 
giving  most  minute  particulars  as  to  the  preparation 
of  the  skeleton,  and  how  the  ribs  were  to  be  tipped 
with  silver,  that  it  might  present  a  fashionable  appear- 
ance.   A  phrenologist  named  Monsieur  Baume  came 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  203 

across  from  London  to  claim  the  cranium,  in  order 
to  lecture  on  its  phrenological  development.  The 
property  of  Thompson  descended  to  his  sisters,  but 
being  very  heavily  mortgaged  it  had  to  be  sold  in 
the  .  Incumbered  Estates  Court.  His  turret  has 
tumbled  down.  The  co-operative  buildings  have 
been  razed  to  the  ground,  but  the  eccentricities  of 
the  philosopher,  his  extraordinary  will,  and  strange 
career  will  long  furnish  subjects  for  story-telling  and 
gossip  in  Grlandore  and  its  neighbourhood. 

The  country  along  the  sea-coast,  between  Glandore 
and  Ross,  was  originally  called  Fidh  Ruis,  meaning 
the  rough,  wooded  country.  Though  it  retains  the 
former  character  at  the  present  time,  its  title  to 
being  wooded  no  longer  exists,  in  fact  it  is  rather 
bare  of  trees.  Like  many  other  parts  of  Carbery,  it 
is  probable  that  nearly  all  the  primeval  woods  which 
once  existed  there  have  been  from  time  to  time 
either  burnt  down,  or  levelled  by  the  axe.  The 
surface  of  the  land  is  rugged  and  broken  up  into 
rocky  peaks.  The  coast  line  is  indented  by  small 
coves,  which  are  situated  between  bare,  bold-looking 
cliifs,  and  from  these  narrow  ravines  run  inland  be- 
tween the  hill-sides  andform  the  beds  of  small  streams, 
which  pursue  their  course  to  the  sea.  The  scenery  is 
said  to  resemble  (on  a  miniature  scale  of  course)  Nor- 
wegian scenery. 

Inglis,  in  his  travels  through  Ireland  in  1834, 
speaking  of  the  country  to  the  west  of  Ross,  in- 
cluding, I  dare  say,  Grlandore  and  Castletownsend, 
says : — 

"  After  leaving  this  town,  i.  e.  Ross,  the  country 
became  extremely  picturesque.  We  passed  alono- 
and  round  the  heads  of  deep  wooded  inlets  of  the 
sea,  reminding  me  in'  some  degree  of  Norwegian 

204  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

scenery  on  a  small  scale,  and  soon  after  reached 
Skibbereen,  a  small  ugly  town,  but  a  busy  and 
thriving  one,  enjoying  an  excellent  retail  trade, 
owing  to  the  demand  of  an  extensive  surrounding1 
district."  6 

The  land  which  lay  between  Grlandore  and  Koss 
originally  belonged  to  a  chieftain  called  Lochlainn, 
who  was  ancestor  of  the  second  most  important  sept 
of  the  O'Donovans.  This  territory  consisted  of 
thirty-six  ploughlands,  at  present  comprised  in  the 
parish  of  Kilfaughnabeg,  and  accordingly  could  not 
have  been  very  extensive.  It  was  this  sept  which 
obtained  possession  of  Cloghatrabally,  or  Grlandore 
Castle,  as  previously  mentioned.  In  the  time  of 
James  I.  Donell  Oge  Na  Caston  O'Donovan,  the 
chieftain  of  that  period,  surrendered  his  possessions 
to  the  king  and  obtained  a  re-grant  of  the  same. 
From  this  grant  it_  appears  that  the  head  of  the  Clan- 
loughlin  had  at  this  time  a  territory,  nearly  as  exten- 
sive as  that  of  the  head  of  the  O'Donovans,  of  whom 
the  former  was  independent,  many  of  their  lands 
being  situated  in  Kilmacabea,  Myross,  &c.  Jeremy 
Donovan,  chieftain  of  Clanloughlin,  was  M.  P.  for 
Baltimore  in  1689. 

The  south-western  point  of  this  district,  which 
bounds  Grlandore  Harbour  on  the  east,  is  called 
Eeenogrena  (O'Grreny's  Point).  Here  we  observe  a 
very  steep  cliff,  one  of  the  highest  along  the  coast, 
called  File  na  Shouk  (the  hawk's  cliff),  which,  gene- 
rally in  the  breeding  season,  is  selected  as  a  retreat 
by  falcons  and  hawks.  On  the  summit  of  this  cliff 
we  observe  the  ruins  of  an  old  signal  tower,  a  relio 
of  the  troubled  times  when  piracy  and  smuggling 
prevailed  along  the  coast.  The  authorities  in  former 
times  had  a  very  decisive  and  summary  manner  of 

Sketches  in  Carbenj.  205 

dealing  with  offenders  of  the  buccaneering  class,  as 
we  learn  from  Smith  : — 

"In  the  reign  of  Charles  II.,  A.  D.  1675,  April 
20th,  Peter  Fox,  and  five  more  pretending  to  be  pas- 
sengers in  a  rich  ship  belonging  to  Holland,  called 
the  St.  Peter,  of  Hamburgh,  bound  to  France,  mur- 
dered the  master  and  three  of  his  crew,  and  brought 
the  ship  into  the  west  of  this  county,  but  by  the  vigi- 
lance of  Eobert  Southwell,  Yice-Admiral  ofMunster, 
five  of  the  malefactors  were  taken,  and  executed — 
viz.,  Edward  Fox  (brother  to  the  above  Peter,  who 
ran  away),  John  Fitzgerald,  John  Hood,  John  Crouch, 
and  John  Morris.  Their  heads  were  set  up  along  the 
sea-coast— viz.,  atWaterford,  Youghal,  Cork, Kinsale, 
and  Grlandore." 

A  short  distance  to  the  east  of  Grlandore  we  come 
to  the  strand  of  Traighlong,  which  also  gives  name 
to  a  small  cove,  sometimes  called  Cow-cove.  This 
strand  is  formed  in  a  peculiar  manner  A  small 
lake  called  Lough  an  Bhricin  (the  lake  of  the  little 
trout)  is  situated  in  the  bed  of  a  narrow  ravine, 
about  half  a  mile  to  the  north  of  Traighlong.  From 
the  lake  a  stream  runs  down  to  the  strand  and 
spreads  out  into  a  marsh,  over  which  the  sea  flows 
at  full  tide. 

Beneath  the  white  shingle  on  the  beach  a  bog  has 
been  formed,  which  stretches  out  some  distance  into 
the  sea,  colouring  the  water  almost  black  as  the  tide 
comes  in.  Turf  can  be  cut  from  this  bog  below  high 
water  mark.  The  strand  is  passable  to  cars  at  low 
tide,  but  the  journey  across  is  -sometimes  dangerous, 
as  the  passage  is  apt  to  shift  its  position  like  a  quick- 
sand. There  are  other  strands  more  extensive  in 
size  along  the  Irish  coast,  which  are  formed  in  the 
same  manner  as  Traighlong,  as,  for  instance,  the  large 

206  Sketches  in  Curler y. 

strand  at  Toughal,  which  is  simply  a  turf-boo-  covered 
over  with  sand  and  pebbles. 

The  next  small  inlet  we  observe  before  coming  to 
Boss  is  Mill  Cove,  into  which  the  Boury  stream  falls. 
This  stream  is  said  to  derive  its  name  from  O'Buaidhre' 
a  follower  of  a  chieftain  named  O'Leary,  who  lived 
formerly  in  this  place,  but  after  the  English  invasion 
removed  to  Iveleary,  near  Macroom. 

Between  Mill  Cove  and  Dooneen  Point,  on  the 
land  of  Galatrahig,  may  be  seen  a  large  chasm  in 
the  soil  called  Pouladav  (the  Hole  of  the  Ox)  P 
from  the  fact  of  cattle  having  occasionally  fallen 
down  into  this  chasm,  whilst  browsing  near  the  edge 
of  the  precipice,  which  is  well  worthy  of  notice,  as 
it  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  and  peculiar  objeots 
along  the  coast.  It  would  seem  that  this  hole  had. 
been  formed  by  some  sudden  convulsion,  as  it  appears 
improbable  that  the  undermining  force  of  the  sea 
alone  could  effect  such  a  strange  and  extensive  look- 
ing excavation.  This  is  a  mere  matter  of  conjecture 

Pouladav  communicates  with  the  sea  by  three 
separate  openings,  the  south  is  the  short  and  direot 
one.     Its^  entrance  from  the  sea  is  guarded  on  either 
side  by  high  precipitous  cliffs,  which  stand  guarding 
the  passage  to  the  dark  retreat  within,  like  the  huge 
portals  of  a  gateway.     The  sea  rushing  in  between 
these  cliffs  passes  through  a  narrow  crevice,  which 
has  been  worn  in  the  §olid  rock,  and  opens  into  the . 
chasm  within,  forming  a  small   deep   pool.     This .. 
entrance  is  bridged  over  at  the  top  by  the  overlying 
rock  and  soil,  which  project  across,   forming  the 
superstructure  of  the  arch.     Between  the  edge  of 
Pouladav  and  the  top  of  the  cliff,  near  the  sea,  the   . 
distancesis  about  250  yards.     A  boat  can  be  rowed    _ 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  207 

through  the  south  passage  in  fine  weather.  The  western 
opening  into  Pouladav  forms  a  subterranean  passage, 
which  joins  the  sea  at  Mill  Cove,  after  pursuing  a 
course  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile.     The  east  entrance  is 
said  to  run  underground  for  nearly  a  mile,  and  open 
into  the  sea  near  Downeen  Point.     Pouladav  itself 
is  a  huge  chasm,  open  at  the  top.    Its  east  and  west 
sides  are  formed  by  abruptly  precipitous  cliffs,  l220 
feet  high,  the  continuity  of  whose  surface  is  unbroken 
from  top  to  bottom  by  a  single  ledge  of  rock.     At 
the  north  side  a  steep  and  winding  pathway  leads  to 
the  bottom,  where  a  person  can  stand,  on  a  small 
strand  covered  with  large  flat  stones,  and  observe 
the  sea  -rushing   in   through    the   south   entrance. 
The   descent   and   ascent  along   this  path  are   not 
easily  accomplished,    especially   in   rainy  weather. 
At  the  top  Pouladav  measures  about  60  to  80  yards 
across,   and  it  is  about  160  yards  long.     There  is 
another  Black  Hole  on  the  land  of  Traghlong,  called 
West  Pouladav,  whose  proportions  are  on  a  some- 
what smaller  scale  than  those  of  the  one  we  have 
been  describing. 

At  the  head  of  the  valley  through  which  the 
Eowry  river  runs,  and  about  half-a-mile  from  Mil- 
cove,  stand  the  ruins  of  Ballyverine  House,  or  Cop- 
pin  ger's  Court  as  it  is  more  familiarly  called,  which 
according  to  Smith,  during  the  18th  century  was  the 
largest  house  in  Carbery,  and  which,  according  to 
popular  tradition,  had  a  chimney  for  every  month 
a  door  for  every  week,  and  a  window  for  every  day 
in  the  year. 

Whether  we  are  to  give  credence  to  the  latter 
statement  or  not  must  be  a  matter  for  consideration, 
but  still  there  is  strong  evidence  from  observing  the 
ruins  as  they  exist  at  present  that  the  house  must 

•   ■ 

208  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

have  been  originally  one  of  large  proportions,  and 
that  the  proprietor  must  have  been  a  man  of  con- 
siderable wealth  and  influence. 

Coppinger's  Court  was  built  in  the  early  part  of  the 
17th  century ;  its  architecture,  as  we  can  discover  at  a 
glance,  was  of  the  Elizabethan  style.  "We  still  perceive 
the  pointed  gables,  numerous  prominent  octagonal 
chimney  shafts,  and  the  various  windows,  which  for- 
merly it  is  to  be  presumed  were  richly  mullioned.;  The 
walls  which  enclose  the  courtyard  still  remain — the 
yard  itself  has  been  converted  into  a  corn-field. 
Within  the  building  all  the  floors  have  disappeared ; 
the  outer  walls  of  the  edifice  alone  remain — the  ruin, 
however,  showing  through  the  trees  as  we  descend 
Rowry  Hill,  has  a  quaint  and  romantic  appearance, 
which  awakens  immediately  our  interest  in  historio 
and  legendary  lore. 

Sir  Walter  Coppinger,  who  erected  this  building, 
was  a  man,  if  we  are  to  believe  tradition,  of  rather 
obscure  origin,  and  during  his  early  years  is  said  to 
have  acted  in  the  capacity  of  valet  to  Sir  Fineen 
(Florence)  O'Driscoll,  the  chieftain  of  Baltimore 
and  Cape  Clear.  It  will  be  necessary  here  to  deviate 
a  little  from  the  direct  line  of  narrative,  in  order  to 
explain  how  Coppinger,  from  being  a  comparatively 
poor  and  humble  man,  became  a  rich  and  powerful 

Towards  the  end  o,f  Queen  Elizabeth's  reign, 
A.  D.  1601,  as  was  previously  mentioned,  the 
Spaniards  landed  in  Xinsale,  upon  which  all  the 
western  chieftains  joined  them,  amongst  others  Sir 
Fineen  O'Driscoll.  After  the  overthrow  of  the 
Spaniards  Sir  Fineen's  territories  were  forfeited  to 
the  Crown,  but  before  this  event  took  place,  being  a .  ^ 

clever  diplomatist,  he  contrived  to  recover  the  good 

Sketches  in  Carbevy.  209 

graces  of  the  Queen  (as  already  related)  by  enter- 
taining the  English  fleet  at  Baltimore. 

"When  the  Queen,  being  informed  of  it,"  says 
Smith,  "pardoned  his  joining  the  Spaniards,  and 
sent  for  him  to  Court,  but  before  he  arrived  the 
Queen  died,  and  during  his  absence  the  greater  part 
of  his  possessions  were  intruded  into  by  Sir  Walter 
Coppinger,  which  caused  this  ancient  family  (the 
O'Driscolls)  to  fall  to  decay." 

Sir  Fineen  is  said  to  have  died  in  England  just 
as  he  was  about  to  start  for  home.  His  death  is 
however  shrouded  in  mystery. 

To  recapitulate  somewhat,  in  order  to  explain 
matters  thoroughly. 

_  After  O'Driscoll' s  death  Coppinger  prosecuted  his 
title  to  the  estate,  and  by  clever  management  and 
the  production  of  legal  documents  of  a  very  ques- 
tionable value,  however,  he  contrived,  by  reference 
to  get  an  order  out  of  Chancery  against  the  heirs  of 
Sir  Fineen  O'Driscoll.  O'Driscoll,  some  years  before 
his  death,  had  granted  a  lease  of  Baltimore  for 
twenty-one  years  to  Sir  Thomas  Crook,  who  planted 
an  English  colony  there,  and  procured  a  charter  of 
incorporation  from  King  James  I.  Coppinger  was 
not  allowed  to  remain  quietly  in  possession. 

The  sovereign  of  Baltimore  applied  to  the  govern- 
ment for  relief.  The  Locds  Justices  issued  a  com- 
mission, and  Coppinger,  in  spite  of  his  diplomatic 
skill  and  legal  documents,  had  to  deliver  up  posses- 
sion, and  was  subsequently  confined  in  Dublin  Castle 
for  contempt  of  orders.  It  is  to  be  presumed,  how- 
ever, that  during  his  short  tenure,  he  managed  to 
amass  a  considerable  fortune,  Coppinger  had  luck 
nevertheless,  in  leaving  at  that  particular  crisis  as 
in  a  few  years   afterwards   (1631)  Baltimore  was 


2L0  Sketches  in  Cafbery 

sacked  by  the  Algeria  es  and  all 
taken  into  captivity. 

"We  will  now  follow  Sir  Walter  to  his  handsome 
residence  at  Ballyverine,  where  he  spent  the  re-' 
mainder  of  his  days.  He  intended  building  a 
market  town  in  the  vicinity  of  the  court,  and  another 
intention  of  his  was  to  convert  the  Rowry  stream 
into  a  canal,  which  would  be  navigable  for  vessels 
from  Millcove  to  the  town,  which  by  that  means 
would  become  a  place  of  some  mercantile  impor- 
tance. .   - 

All  his  plans  were  upset  by  the  wars  of  1641, 
when  the  house  was  attacked  by  an  armed  force, 
ransacked,  and  partially  burnt  down.  After  this 
event  we  lose  sight  of  Coppinger,  so  far  as  being 
unable  to  learn  from  recorded  history  any  further 
particulars  connected  with  his  life. 

From  tradition  the  following  information  referring 
to  his  acts  has  been  handed  down  to  us.  During 
his  residence  at  Rowry  he  was  chiefly  distinguished 
by  his  tyrannical  qualities.  No  Russian  nobleman 
of  former  times  lorded  it  over  his  serfs  with  such 
despotic  sway  as  Coppinger  over  the  surrounding  .• 

At  the  time  when  the  events  we  are  now  describ- 
ing were  being  enacted,  the  spirit  of  feudalism,  which 
was  on  the  decline  in  England,  flourished  as  strongly 
in  Ireland  as  it  did  in  England  and  France  during 
the  12th  and  13th  centuries.  All  authority,  and 
the  enjoyment  of  the  luxuries  and  goods  of  life  were 
centred  in  a  favoured  few  whom  hereditary  title,  the 
right  of  conquest,  or  fortuitous  circumstances, 
Coppinger's  case,  had  raised  to  an  exalted  position. 
In  England  at  this  period  the  bulk  of  the  people 
were  emerging  slowly  but  steadily,  from  the  ignoble 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  211 

vassalage  and  degeneracy  which,  feudalism  had 
stamped  on  them  during  the  Dark  Ages.  In  Ire- 
land, however,  where  surrounding  circumstances 
were  of  a  different  character,  the  people  either 
groaned  in  silence  beneath  the  heavy  chains  which 
held  them  "  in  durance  vile,"  or  rushed  at  times, 
wildly  and  ineffectually,  into  conflicts  with  superior 
force  and  skill. 

Stories  are  related  of  Coppinger  which  seem  in- 
credible at  the  present  day,  and  which,  no  doubt, 
are  somewhat  exaggerated.  He  is  said  to  have 
possessed  in  the  district,  which  he  ruled  as  a  local 
despot,  the  power  of  life  and  death  over  the 
people.  It  is  related  how  he  had  a  yard-arm  ex- 
tended from  one  of  the  gable-ends  of  his  mansion, 
which  served  the  purpose  of  a  gallows,  wherewith  to 
hang  the  victims  of  his  unlicensed  power.  Stories 
are  also  told  of  a  dark  dungeon  beneath  the  basement 
story  of  the  court,  where  prisoners  pined  for  years  in 
wretchedness  and  chains. 

The  way  in  which  he  closed  his  career  is  said  to 
have  been  the  following : — On  one  occasion  Cop- 
pinger, in  a  rage,  made  a  vow  that  he  would 
execute  some  obnoxious  individual  as  soon  as  he 
returned  from  prayers.  The  day  happened  to  be 
Sunday.  He  did  not  wish  to  carry  out  the  sentence 
without  first  attending  to  his  devotions,  so  religious 
a  character  was  he.  Keport  goes  on  to  say  that 
Coppinger,  when  leaving  the  church,  suddenly 
dropped  dead  in  a  fit,  brought  on  by  violence  of 
passion,  and  the  people  believed  at  the  time  that  it 
was  a  visitation  of  Providence  which  cut  him  off  in 
the  midst  of  his  designs. 

After  his  death  the  estate  passed  in  fragments 
into  the  hands  of  several  new  owners.     The  Tvil- 



Sketches  in  Carbery. 

fiiiane  and  Bowry  portion  was  purchased  by  Mr. 
Thomas   Becher,    of  Sherkin,    in-  1698,   and  now' 
belongs,  in  fee,  to  Sir  Henry  Becher ;  another  por- 
tion was  held  by  a  Mr.  James  Somerville,  in  right 
of  his  wife. 

An  air  of  romantic  interest  has  been  attached  to 
Coppinger's  Court,  by  means  of  a  story  published 
some  years  ago  in  the  Eagle,  and  written  by  a  gentle- 
man of  considerable  literary  and  scientific  acquire- 
ments, living  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Skibbereen. 

Having  completed  our  notice  of  Coppinger's  Court, 
and  the  records  and  traditions  connected  with  it,  the 
next  place  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Eoss  which  is 
entitled  to  description,  owing  to  its  antiquity  and', 
the  interesting  facts  relating  thereto,  is  the  ancient 
Castle  of  Benduff  (black  peak  or  gable),  or,  as 
it  is  now  called  Castle  Salem,  situated  about  a 
mile  to  the  north-west  of  Boss,  in  the  bosom  of  a 
secluded  valley,  shut  in  by  hills,  and  at  one  time 
encompassed  by  a  dense  and  wide  plantation  of  trees. 
Benduff  differed,  to  a  certain  extent,  from  the  gene- 
rality of  the  feudal  strongholds  of  former  times, 
■which,  as  a  rule,  were  either  perched  upon  some 
rocky  eminence,  or  surmounted  the  summit  of  some 
rising  ground.  The  sheltered  and  isolated  nature 
of  its  situation  very  probably  protected  it,  in  a  great 
measure,  from  external  danger. 

This  castle,  according  «to  Smith,  was  built  by  the 
0 'Donovans,, whilst  other  authorities  assert  that  it 
was  erected  by  Catherine,  daughter  of  Thomas,  8th 
Earl  of  Desmond.  This  would  give  us  for  the  date 
of  its  building  about  the  year  1470,  or  thereabouts. 
Thomas,  8th  Earl  of  Desmond,  one  of  the  most 
powerful  of  his  race,  and  who  was  viceroy  of  Ireland 
in  the  time  of  Edward  IY.,  was  executed  at  Drogheda  i 

Sketches  in  Carhcry.  213 

in  1466,  having  fallen  a  victim  to  the  malice  of 
Lady  Jane  Grey,  Edward's  Queen,  for  some  disre- 
spectful speech  he  made  about  her  to  the  king.  His 
daughter,  Catherine,  who  is  said  to  have  founded 
Benduff,  is  most  probably  the  personage  who  has 
come  down  to  us  under  the  sobriquet  of  "  the  black 
lady,"  and  about  whom  various  legends  are  told  in 
connection  with  Benduff. 

The  castle  was  originally  a  strong  romantic  struc- 
ture, built  in  the  style  of  the  Norman  fortresses, 
which  studded  the  surface  of  the  country  during  the 
middle  ages,  and  which  were  distinguished  by  the 
square  central  keep  or  tower,  with  thick  massive 
walls,  loopholed  for  the  use  of  arms,  and  to  admit 
light,  to  which  were  generally  attached  side  build- 
ings, furnished  with  bastions,  strong  outer  walls 
enclosing  the  entire,  which  were  sometimes  furnished 
with  covered  ways. 

Benduff  Castle  had  three  arches ;  the  walls  were 
eleven  feet  thick,  with  passages  and  recesses,  and  the 
usual  stone  stairway ;  it  was  originally  about  seventy 
feet  high.  One  of  its  former  proprietors,  old  William 
Morris,  took  off  the  top  and.  put  on  a  slated  roof. 
The  modern  house  was  built  with  its  rere  against 
the  olden  one.  You  step  from  the  first  landing  of 
the  stairs  into  the  castle  by  the  ancient  doorway 
about  twelve  feet  from  the  ground. 

The  grounds  at  the  base  of  the  castle  at  one  time 
were  laid  out  in  the  old  Dutch  style  with  ponds,  and 
little  islands  full  of  shrubs,  and  yew  trees,  and  so 
sheltered  and  warm  is  the  situation  that  fig  trees 
grow  there  and  flourish  in  the  open  air.  Until 
about  fifty  years  ago  the  castle  was  surrounded  by 
a  very  handsome  oak  plantation,  which  at  one  time 
occupied  an  area  of  three  hundred  acres.     Almost 

214  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

the  entire  of  this  wood  was  cut  down  and  sold  by 
tne  last  Moms,  who  lived  at  Benduff.  '" 

Formerly  also  an  extensive  deer  park  existed  here, 
lhe  old  ivy-clad  walls  which  enclosed  it  are  still 
standing  m  ftrt;  we  perceive  them  about  half' a 
mile  to  the  west  of  the  slate  quarry.     The  park  ex- 
tended eastward  towards  Deny,  embracing  the  pre^ 
sent  mam  road  leading  to   Ross,  which  intersects 
what  was  once  called  the  park.     On  the  south  side 
of  the  main  road  a  portion  of  the  wall  bounds  on 
one  side  the  old  coach  road,  the  principal  means  of 
traffic   and   conveyance  from   Skibbereen  to   Cork 
about  seventy  years  ago,  and  which,  to  judge  from 
appearances,  must'  have  been  a  very  rocky  and  dis- 
agreeable road  to  travel. 

Benduff  during  the  latter  half  of  the  seventeenth 
century,  belonged  to  the  Morris  family,  the  first  of 
that  name  who  became  owner  being  Major  Apollo 
Morris,  an  officer  in  Cromwell's  army.  He  obtained 
a  grant  of  this  estate  from  Cromwell,  and,  on  the 
restoration  of  Charles  II.  the  grant  was  confirmed 
through  the  interest  of  a  relative  of  the  major's  who 
was  private  secretary  to  the  king.  The  successor  to 
Major  Morris  was  William  Morris,  who  was  an  inti- 
mate friend  and  correspondent  of  the  celebrated 
William  Penn,  both  before  and  after  the  latter  went 
to  colonize  Pennsylvania.  All  the  family  papers, 
deeds  ^c,  among  which  was  the  grant  from  Charles 
11.,  ol  the  estate,  were  preserved  in  the  castle  until 
ab.out  twenty-five  years  ago.  The  late  William 
Morris  placed  them  in  the  hands  of  a  bookseller  in 
Cork,  named  O'Dell,  with  the  intention  of  publica- 
tion, lie  bookseller  failed,  and  all  the  papers' 
were  either  lost  or  mislaid. 

There  was  a  small  half-length  portrait  (in  oil)  of 

Sketches  m  Carbery. 


Cromwell,  by  one  of  the  old  painters,  which  repre- 
sented him  clad  in  armour,  his  head  bare,  and  locks 
flowing,  with  a  stern  and  sombre  aspect. 

As  we  enter  the  gateway  of  the  avenue,  on  our 
right  hand,  may  be  sfcten  an  ancient  Quaker  burial- 
place,  which  old  William  Morris,  Penn's  friend, 
established  here.  The  place  is  small,  and  full  of 
the  simple  graves  which  the  Quakers  used,  with 
plain  head  and  foot  stones  facing  north  and 
south,  no  monuments  or  tombs  being  allowed 
by  this  sect.  So  well  known  was  the  graveyard 
that  the  remains  of  deceased  Quakers  were  brought 
from  the  city  of  Cork  and  various  parts  of  the  country 
to  be  interred  there.  Around  the  graveyard  was  a 
remarkable  grove  of  laurel  trees,  which  grew  to  such 
a  height  that  the  crows  established  a  rookery  in  them. 
A  very  large  and  handsome  yew  tree  also  grew  near 
the  spot.  Old  William  married  a  daughter  of 
Colonel  Bryan  Townsend,  and  thus  became  con- 
nected with  the  Townsend  and  Hungerford  families. 
Upon  his  death  a  tomb  of  very  plain  and  rude 
construction,  was  erected  to  him  at  Benduff,  and 
so  shocked  were  the  Quakers  with  this  breach  of 
their  religious  observances  that  they  ceased  from 
that  time  out  to  make  any  further  interments  in  the 
place.  The  old  tomb  is  still  to  he  seen  in  the  centre 
of  the  burial-place.  The  last  proprietor  of  Benduff, 
or  Castle  Salem,  was  the  late  much-respected  Dr. 

216  Sketches  in  Carbery. 



*  Eosscarbery,  of  ancient  origin-Great  seat  of  sanctity  and  learning 
m  former  times— Professor  Spalding  on  the  Ar.fO  ???¥ 
Histories-Eoss  Ailithir  (wood  of  the  Xri™^?  °i  ^ 
in  the  neighbourhood^.  JW^iattSt'^Bt  to^Z 
an  ancient  abbey  here-Dr.  Lynch^EUahTon dSyaJon  o 
Eoss— Former  extent  of  diocese— Leo-end  aW  <;7  v <v. 
Toumpleen  na  Fachna-Hanmer  andcifo'^^fXr 
dan-Eetrospective  ww  of  the  distinguished  bisW,  of »  EL 
venerable  See-Eoss  Cathedral,  general  account-Curious  <Le of 
trance,  or  suspended  animation-Modern  pilgrimage  torteTmb 
elusion.  EeV"  J°hn   ^^   P-P--^^e^,   ^1S. 

During  the  early  part  of  the  Dark  Ages,  when  the 
fierce  tide  of  pagan  barbarism  and  ignorance  swept 
like  a  deluge  throughout  continental  Europe,  over- 
whelming m  its  progress  the  landmarks  of  civiliza- 
tion, erected  in  previous  eras  by  Egypt,  Greece,  and 
.home,   Ireland  was   the  ark  where   the   Christian 
Faith,  and   the  literary  and  scientific  knowledge, 
which  were  to  shed  a  light  over  modern  times,  and 
regenerate  mankind,  found  a  safe  retreat  and  hospi- 
table abode  to  reside  and  flourish  in.    At  the  period 
we  allude  to  many  seats  of  learning,  and  numerous 
religious  edifices  were  established  in  this  country,  and 
Ireland  became  so  famed  throughout  Europe  by  the 
wisdom  of  her  professors  and  the  piety  of  the  inhabi- 
tants, that  such  titles  were  conferred  upon  her  as 
"The  Island  of  Saints"  and  "The  Island  of  Scholars," 
and  numbers  of  students  flocked  there  from  various 
parte  of  Europe,  in  order  to  drink  deep  from  the. 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  217 

springs  of  knowledge,  and  become  perfected  in  their 

Camde^,  a  writer  of  some  authority,  observes 
that  "the  Saxons  flocked -to  Ireland  as  to  a  great 
mart  of  learning,  which  is  the  reason,  says  he, 
we  so  often  find  this  in  our  authors :  "  Such  a  one 
sent  his  son  over  to  Ireland  to  be  educated."  The 
Venerable  Bede  confirms  this  statement  in  his  "  Ec- 
clesiastical History,"  and  Camden  himself  relates 
this  passage  in  the  life  of  Sulgenius,  who  lived  six 
hundred  years  before  his  time : — 

"  Exemplo'patruui  commotus  amore  legendi, 
Juvit  ad  Hibernos  sopjiia  mirabile  clarcs." 

"With  love  of  learning  and  examples  fir'd, 
To  Ireland,  f'am'd  for  wisdom,  he  retired." 

Many  other  distinguished  authorities  could  be 
cited  to  prove  that  the  inhabitants  of  Ireland,  during 
the  early  portion  of  the  Christian  era,  and  even 
previous  to  that  time,  were  considerably  advanced 
in  learning,  and,  consequently,  in  civilization.  So 
famous  was  Ireland  for  learning  in  ancient  times,  it 
may  not  be  amiss,  says  Smith,  to  mention  that  it 
was  an  Irish  professor  who  first  opened  the  public 
schools  in  Oxford ;  and  the  first  acknowledged  British 
author  of  distinction,  whose  name  is  mentioned  in 
English  literature,  was  St.  Columbanus,  a  native  of 
Ireland,  a  man  of  vigorous  ability,  who  contributed 
greatly  to  the  advancement  of  Christianity  in  various 
parts  of  Europe,  and  died  A.  D.  615, 

Professor  Spalding  of  the  Aberdeen  University, 
in  his  standard  work,  "  History  of  English  Litera- 
ture," remarks  (page  31):  "It  does  not  appear 
rash  to  say  that  the  Irish  possess  contemporary  his- 
tories of  their  country,  -written  in  the  language  of 

218  Sketches  in  Carlery. 

the  people,  and  authentic  though  meagre,  from  the 
fifth  century  or  a  little  later.  No  other  nation  of 
modern  Europe  is  ahle  to  make  a  similar  boast." 

The  town  of  Eosscarbery,  though  to  the  ordinary 
observer  it  may  seem  a  place  comparatively  unim- 
portant, was,  nevertheless,  one  of  the  most  ancient  and 
celebrated  places  in  Ireland,  and  as  far  back  as  the 
6th  century,  was  renowned  at  home  and  abroad  as  a 
great  seat  of  learning  and  sanctity.  Hither  flocked 
students,  both  lay  and  clerical,  from  all  parts  of  Ire- 
land, to  complete  their  studies  under  the  most  eminent  \ 

Dr.  Joyce,  alluding  to  it,  says: — "  Eosscarbery,  in 
Cork,  was  formerly  a  place  of  great  ecclesiastical 
eminence,  and  it  was  '  so  famous  for  the  crowds  of 
students  and  monks,  flocking  to  it,  that  it  was  dis- 
tinguished by  the  name  of  "  Eos-ailithir  "  (Allihir), 
the  wood  of  the  pilgrims.'"  -  "  "% 

The  present  town,  which  has  improved  of  late,  is 
picturesquely  situated  near  the  sea.  The  scenery 
in  the  vicinity  is  beautiful  in  the  highest  degree, 
and  every  verdant  spot — rocky  eminence,  or  crumb- 
ling ruin  is  hallowed  by  the  memory  of  some 
historical  event,  legendary  story,  or  fragment  of  an- 
tiquarian lore,  which  can  awaken  curiosity,  and  set 
us  thinking  over  the  reminiscences  of  days  gone 

Eosscarbery,  or  Allithir,  its  ancient  name — . 
(it  was  called  Eosscarbery  to  distinguish  it  from 
Eoss  in  "Wexford) — wa,s  founded  by  St.  Fachtnan 
about  the  year  590,  according  to  Colgan.  Other 
authorities  say  that,  in  the  early  part  of  the  sixth 
century,  he  came  from  the  Abbey  of  Molana,  near 
Youghal,  and  founded  an  abbey  here  for  regular 
canons.     The  ruins  of  a  chapel  erected  at  some  dis- 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  219 

tant  period  near  the  site  of  the  old  ahbey,  within 
the  ancient  cemetery  of  Boss,  are  still  to  be  seen  :  it 
must  have  been  of  very  small  dimensions.  The  north 
and  south  walls  still  remain,  built  of  rough,  unhewn 
stones,  and  bear  strong  evidence  of  antiquity.  No 
relic  of  the  abbey  established  by  St.  Fachtnan  can 
be  observed  ;  for  though  the  renown  of  the  saint  is 
still  as  fresh  as  ever,  the  monastery  he  established 
has  long  ago  crumbled  into  dust. 

This  monastery  formed  a  nucleus,  around  which 
sprung  up  a  walled  town  in  the  same  manner  (though 
on  a  minor  scale)  as  Cork  originated  around  the 
monastery  of  St.  Finbar. 

St.  Fachnan,  the  founder  (Fachtna),  was  also  called 
"  Fachtna  facundus,'^  or  "  the  eloquent,"  and 
Mac  Mongach,  because  he  was  born  having  his  head 
covered  with  hair,  He  was  a  disciple  of  St.  Finbar's, 
who  founded  Cork,  and  was  also  abbot  of  a  monastery 
at  Molana,  near  Toughal,  before  he  settled  down  at 

Dr.  Lynch,  born  according  to  Hardiman  in  the 
beginning  of  the  17th  century,  in  his  "MS.  History 
of  the  Irish  Sees"  (see  New  Edition  of  "  Monasticon 
Hibcrnicion"  in  the  Irish  Ecclesiastical  Record),  tells 
us  that  "  Ross  in  Irish  has  three  distinct  meanings, 
being  used  to  designate  a  meadowy  plain,  a  grove, 
and  more  frequently  a  promontory."  This  last 
meaning  would  well  correspond  with  the  territory 
of  which  we  speak,  which  jutting  out  into  the  sea 
presents  quite  the  appearance  of  a  promontory,  whilst 
the  smiling  fields,  which  adorn  the  surrounding 
country,  would  justify  the  application  of  the  name 
in  its  first  meaning. 

The  diocese  of  Eoss,  founded  by  St.  Fachnan  in 
the  sixth  century,  was  originally  coextensive  with  the 

220  Sketches  in  Carbery . 

territory  of  Corca  Laidhe,  but  in  Lynch's  t_ 
was  only  eighteen  miles  in  length,  and  four  or  five 
in  breadth,  and  contained  24  parishes,  besides  three 
detached  parishes  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Bear- 
haven.  The  festival  in  commemoration  of  the  patron 
saint  of  Eoss  was  formerly  kept  on  the  14th  of 

The  following  legend  is  related  of  the  saint:— 
"  He  was  in  the  habit  of  praying  daily  on  the  side 
of  a  hill,  about  half-a-mile  east  of  Ross.    One  evening 
he  forgot  his  prayer-book,  and  the  next  morning, 
strange  to  say  (the  night  had  been  rainy),  a  small 
chapel  had  sprung  into  existence  immediately  over 
the  spot  where  the  saint  had  prayed  the  day  before. 
However  that  may  be,  the  ruins  of  this  little  oratory, 
Toumpleen-a-Fachtna,   are  still  extant.      Its"  pro- 
portions are  on  a  limited  scale,  being  only  twelve 
feet  long  by  eight  feet  broad.     O'Donovan  says 
that  it  is  the  only  building  of  St.  Fachtna's  time 
now  remaining.     He  differs  in  opinion  also  -from 
Harris  and  others,  who  assert  that  the  old  cathedral 
was  erected  by  St.  Fachtnan,  and  not  by  Mac  Craith, 
in  the  tenth  century,  as  O'Donovan  states,  quoting 
from  the  "BookofBallymote."  Toumpleen-a-Fachtna 
was  rebuilt  about  the  year  1664  by  a  devotee  who, 
in  a  fit  of  sickness,  had  made  a  vow  to  the  saint  that  if 
he  recovered  he  would  build  a  chapel  in  his  honour. 
There  is  a  rough  corner-stone  in  one  of  the  walls  com- 
memorating this  event  as  follows — "Ad  gloriamDci, 
et  hominum  sahationem,,\  Sfc. — not  easily  deciphered.  • 
In  former  times,  on  the  16th  August,  the  patron  day 
of  the  saint,  great  numbers  of  pilgrims  frequented 
this  spot,  and  removed  a  small  portion  of  earth  from 
the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  oratory,  which,  . 
as  a  sort  of  amulet,  was  supposed  by  some  to  possess  " 

Sketches  in  Carbcry.  221 

the  virtue,  when  stitched  in  the  clothes,  of  saving  a 
shipwrecked  person. 

The  "Book  of  Dues,"  as  mentioned  already,  belong- 
ing to  the  church  of  Boss-Allithri,  was  presented  to 
St.  Fachtnan  by  Conall,  chieftain  of  Corca  Laidhe, 
at  Ardnabportan  (Crab-Fish  Hill),  on  Inisbeg,  an 
island  in  the  river  Hen,  near  Skibbereen.  We  find 
the  following  notice  in  the  "Annals  of  Innisfallen : " 
"  A.  D.  600.  Died  Fachtnan,  first  Bishop  of  Boss- 
Allithir,  in  Corca  Laidbe."  According  to  Hanmer, 
"Ross  was  formerly  walled  round,  but  by  the  wars  of 
the  Irish  septs  the  walls  were  broken  down,  and,  at 
the  present  day,  the  foundations  of  this  ancient  place 
cannot  even  be  traced."  The  same  writer  says — "A 
famous  university  also  flourished  here,  where  resorted 
all  the  south-west  of  Ireland  for  learning  sake." 
St.  Brendan,  patron  saint  of  Kerry,  is  also  said  to 
have  visited  Boss,  and  taught  "lessons  of  wisdom" 
there.  Camden,  who  lived  in  the  reign  of  Elizabeth, 
states  that  the  harbour,  previous  to  his  time,  was 
navigable  for  ships,  but  in  his  own  day  it  had  become 
choked  up  with  sand,  and  in  this  condition  it  has 
remained  down  to  the  present  date.  After  St. 
Fachtnan's  death,  St.  Finchad,  a  disciple  of  St. 
Finbar,  of  Cork,  succeeded.  No  account  of  any  of 
his  successors  down  to  the  year  1170  is  given,  except 
of  Dougal  Mac  Folact,  the  27th  bishop.  According 
to  O'Flaherty,  and  he  gives  as  his  authority  a  distich 
out  of  the  "  Book  of  Lecan" :  — 

"  Dougalus  a  Fachtna  ter  nonus  Episcopus  extat, 
Lugadia  de  gente  dedit  cui  Eossa  mitram." 

"  Hail !  happy  Ross !  thou  couldst  produce  thrice  nine, 
All  mitred  sages  of  Lugadia's  line, 
From  Fachtnan,  crowned  with  everlasting  praise, 
Down  to  the  date  of  Dougall's  pious  days." 

222  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

In  the  reign  of  King  John,  the  cantred  ofEoss- 
Allithri,  with  its  appurtenances,  excluding  the  de- 
mesnes of  the  bishop,  was  granted  by  the  king  to 
Adam  DeEupe  (or  Eoehe),  by  his  supplying  the 
service  of  six  knights.  Along  line  of  bishops  is' 
mentioned  by  Smith,  from  Benedict,  in  1172,  to 
Thomas  O'Herlihy,  who  sat  from  1563  to  1570.  The 
latter  was  present  at  the  Council  of  Trent  (one  out-of 
the  three  Irish  bishops  who  attended  that  great  Coun-' 
cil),  and  died  in  1579,  and  is  buried  in  Kilcrea  Abbey: 
Dr.  O'Herlihy  was  a  native  of  the  parish  of  Kil- 
macabea,  near  Leap. 

In  the  previous  century  a  very  distinguished- 
prelate  was  Bishop  of  Eoss,  viz.,  Dr.  Edmund 
Courcy,  who  was  translated  from  Clogher  to  the  See 
of  Eoss  in  1491.  He  was  originally  a  Franciscan 
monk  in  Timoleague  Abbey,  which,  as  already  re- 
ferred to,  he  enriched  and  re-edified.  His  mortuary 
chapel  is  still  in  existence,  though  in  ruins,  within 
the  ancient  walls  of  Timoleague  Abbey.  He  was 
succeeded  by  O'Murrily,  abbot  of  the  Monastery  at 
Carigilihy,  in  Myross  {Be  Fonte  Vivo). 

In  1601  the  renowned  Owen  M'Egan  was  ap- 
pointed Yicar  Apostolic  of  Eoss  by  Pope  Clement 
VIII.  In  the  "Paoata  Hibernia"  (Carew)he  is 
mentioned  as  a  priest  of  the  diocese  of  Eoss,  Bachelor 
in  Theology,  Master  of  Arts,  "and  most  commendable 
for  his  learning,  moral  conduct,  and  manifold  virtues." 
After  the  battle  of  Kinsale,  Captain  Taaffe  led  some 
troops  into  Carbery,  in  order  to  wage  war  on 
the  chieftains  who  had  joined  the  Spaniards  and 
O'Neil.  Whilst  driving  before  him  the  captured 
spoil  (cattle  and  horses)  he  was  attacked  on  the 
banks  of  the  river  Bandon  by  the  MacCarthys  and 
O'Sullivans,  who,  when  on  the  point  of  giving  way, 

Sketches  in  Cat-bevy.  223 

were  rallied  and  led  on  by  Bishop  Mac  Egan.  The 
issue  of  the  battle  was  doubtful  for  a  long  time,  and 
was  fiercely  contested  until  the  brave  Yicar  was  slain, 
after  which  occurrence  the  Irish  forces  were  dis- 
heartened and  retreated.  The  Bishop's  remains  were 
borne  off  the  field  of  battle  by  0 'Sullivan  :  he  was 
buried  at  Timoleague  Abbey,  and  a  small  cross  in- 
dented in  the  wall  near  the  north-western  angle  of 
the  cloister  commemorates  the  exact  spot  where  rest 
the  remains  of  the  illustrious  Mac  Egan. 

The  first  Protestant  Bishop  of  Ross  was  "William 
Lyons,  who  was  appointed  to  this  see  in  1582,  and 
died  1617:  he  annexed  it  to  the  diocese  of  Cork,  both 
of  ■which  since  that  period  have  formed  conjointly  a 
combined  diocese. 

In  the  year  1650,  when  Cromwell  was  besieging 
Clonmel  the  titular  Roman  Catholic  Bishop  of  Ross 
was  named  Boetius  Mac  Egan :  he  collected  a  force  of 
4,000  foot  and  300  horse  in  order  to  raise  the  siege, 
or  assist  the  beleaguered  garrison.  Cromwell  des- 
patched Lord  Broghill  with  a  large  force  to  attack 
the  bishop's  army.  Broghill  marched  in  hot  haste 
to  Kilcrea,  and  then  to  Carrigadrohid,  which  was 
garrisoned  by  a  detachment  of  the  bishop's  forces. 
Leaving  his  infantry  to  keep  watch  over  the  castle 
at  Carrigadrohid,  he  marched  with  the  cavalry  to 

At  Broghill's  approach  the  Irish  troops  set  fire  to 
Macroom  Castle,  and  joined  their  main  army,  which 
was  encamped  in  the  park.  Broghill  making  a 
sudden  attack,  defeated  the  forces  opposed  to  him, 
and  captured  Bishop  Mac  Egan,  whom  he  promised 
to  pardon,  if  he  advised  the  garrison  at  Carrigadrohid 
to  surrender.  The  bishop,  however,  with  the  courage 
of  an  ancient  Roman,  and  a  contempt  for  death 

221  Sketches  in  Garbery. 


worthy  of  a  Begulus,  advised  them  to  hold  out  to 
the  last,  fearing  lest  Broghill  might  put  them  to  the 
sword-  The  reward  of  his  unflinching  courage  was 
instant  execution.  _  Broghill  subsequently  captured 
the  castle  by  a  stratagem,  viz.,  by  drawing  large 
pieces  of  timber  towards  the  walls  by  means  of  a 
team  of  oxen.  The  garrison  supposed  them  to  be 
cannon,  and  after  a  parley  surrendered.  The  date 
of  the  battle  was  10th  May,  1650,  according  to 

In  the  Consistorial  Acts,  A.  D.  1517,  some  inte- 
resting information  is  given  regarding  the  ancient 
cathedral  of  Eoss,  said  to  have  been  first  erected  by  St.  - 
Fachnan,  and  which,  in  the  beginning  of  the  16th  cen- 
tury, was,  according  to  the  "  Monast.  Hibernic."  ^ 
"  one  of  the  most  remarkable  structures  of  the  king- 
dom." At  the  date  referred  to,  John  O'Murrily 
(formerly  abbot  of  the  Abbey  de  Fonte  Vivo,)  was 
bishop  of  Eoss,  having  succeeded  Dr.  De  Couroy, 
who  resigned,  owing  to  the  infirmities  of  age.  . 

The  minute  of  the  Consistorial  Inquiry  states 
"  how  the  city  of  Eoss  was  situated  in  the  Ecclesias- 
tical Province  of  Cashel,  in  the  midst  of  a  vast  plain, 
which  stretched  along  the  sea-shore."  It  contained 
200  houses,  and  was  walled  round ;  the  land  was 
fertile,  and  yielded  abundant  crops.  The  cathedral 
church,  dedicated  under  the  invocation  of  St.  Fach- 
nan, was  in  the  centre  of  the  city.  The  walls  of  the 
church  were  of  cut  stone ;  there  were  two  entrances, 
one  at  the  side,  the  other  in  front,  and  a  descent  by 
three  steps  to  the  level  of  the  church  floor,  which  was 
unpaved.  The  roof  was  of  wood,  and  covered  with 
slates.  It  was  cruciform  in  shape,  and  equalled  in 
size  the  church  of  S.  Maria  del  Popolo  in  Eome. 
The  central  nave  was  separated  by  stone  pillars  from 

Sketches  in  Curler//.  225 

the  aisles.  All  the  vestments  and  sacred  ornaments 
belonging  to  the  cathedral  were  of  an  elaborate  and 
costly  description.  In  the  cemetery  outside  there 
was  a  bell-tower  furnished  with  one  large  bell. 
The  Church  dignitaries  consisted  of  a  dean,  arch- 
deacon, chancellor.  There  were  also  twelve  canons, 
and  four  vicars.  The  canons  resided  in  different 
parts  of  the  diocese,  which  was  about  twenty  miles 
in  length.  The  bishop's  residence  was  about  half  a 
mile  from  the  city,  and  pleasantly  situated  on  the  sea 

According  to  local  tradition  the  site  of  the  epis- 
copal palace  was  Cregane,  near  Eoss,  at  present  the 
property  of  W.  Starkie,  Esq.,  E.  M. 

The  episcopal  revenue  was  derived  from  corn, 
tithes,  and  pasturage,  and  amounted  annually  to 
sixty  marks,  which  would  only  make  it  £40  per 
annum.  We  must  consider,  however,  that  three 
centuries  and  a  half  ago  the  intrinsic  value  of  money 
was  perhaps  nearly  twenty  times  greater  than  it  is 
at  present,  so  that  it  might  be  correct  to  say  the 
income  in  1517  was  equivalent  to  at  least  £800  at 
the  present  day. 

In  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  when  Lyons  was  ap- 
pointed (first  Protestant  bishop),  all  the  plate,  bells, 
&c-,  which  were  of  solid  silver,  and  belonged  to  the 
cathedral  and  monastery,  were  secreted,  and  have 
remained  concealed  and  undiscovered  up  to  the  pre- 
sent day :  they  were  valued  at  £7,000.  Tradition 
says  that  they  were  buried  deep  somewhere  in  the 
strand.  If  not  washed  away  by  the  tide,  some  for- 
tunate explorer  (who  was  born  with  a  silver  spoon 
in  his  mouth)  might  yet  discover  the  hidden 

The  present  Protestant  church  in  Eoss  is  built  on 



226  Sketches  in  Car  bevy. 

the  foundations  of  the  old  cathedral ;  it  dates  from 
1612.  Within  the  walls,  and  fixed  in  the  arch 
beneath  the  tower,  is  a  square  stone,  with  a  rudely 
carved  head  of  St.  Eachnan  standing  out  in  relief 
said  to  he  coeval  with  the  ancient  and  original  build- 
ing. The  well  proportioned  and  graceful-looking 
spire  of  cut  limestone,  which  surmounts  the  tower-, 
contrasts  agreeably  with  the  surrounding  green 
foliage,  and  has  a  picturesque  and  pleasing  effect, 
when  viewed  from  the  distance. 

There  are  some  tablets  erected  in  the  nave  of  the 

Boss    Protestant   church,    of  chaste    and    finished 

workmanship,  which   deserve  a  passing  notice,'  as 

they  give  evidence  of  antiquity,  and  supply  us  with 

some  historical  information.      On  the  north  wall, 

facing  the  entrance,  is  one  "  In  memory  of  Captain 

Thomas  Hungerford,  who  died  March  2nd,  1680, 

and  was  interred  in  the  cathedral.     The  third  in 

descent  from  Lord  Walter  De  Hungerford,  of  the 

county  of  Worcester,  who  took  the  Duke  of  Orleans 

prisoner  at  the  battle  of  Agincourt,  and  was  Lord 

High  Chamberlain  in  the  court  of  Edward  III." 

Immediately  over  the  door,  as  we  enter,  is  another 

tablet  with  the  following  inscription — "  Here  lyeth 

interred  the  body  of  Sir  William  Moore,  Bart.,  of 

Rosscarbery,  who  departed  this  life  the  28th  day  of 

August,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord,  1693,  and  in  the 

one  and  thirtieth  year  of  his  age.     He  was  killed 

accidentally  by  a  heavy  stone,  which  fell  from  aloft 

whilst  the  tower  was  being  built."     There  is  also  a 

monument  to  an  English  gentleman  named  Arthur 

Steele,  who  was  a  high  official  in  the  old  East  Indian 

Service.     He  was  staying   on  a  visit  in  Ross,  and 

was  drowned  accidentally  in  the  year  1831,  whilst 

bathing  in  the  harbour.     Handsome  tablets  erected 

Sketches  in  Carhcry.  227 

to  the  Townsend  and  Starkie  families  are  also  to  be 
observed.  N 

Besides  Teampleen-Fachna,  tbe  parish  of  Kil- 
faughnabeg  (the  little  church  of  Fachna),  situated 
between  Ross  and  Glandore,  and  formerlj  called 
"Fidh  Buis,"  also  retains  at  the  present  day  the 
name  of  the  patron  saint. 

In  the  year  1131  a  hostile  force  from  Connaught 
under  the  command  of  Donogh  Mac  Carthy  made 
an  attack  on  Boss,  and  plundered  it:  they  were 
shortly  afterwards  defeated. 

At  the  time  of  the  English  invasion  all  the  lands 
connected  with  Ross,  exclusive  of  what  belonged  to 
the  bishop  (Benedict  was  bishop  in  1172),  were  granted 
to  Fitz  Stephen. 

At  one  time  the  ancient  abbey  belonged  to  the 
monks  of  the  Benedictine  Order,  and  was  subject  to 
the  celebrated  Benedictine  Abbey  of  St.  James,  with- 
out the  walls  of  the  city  of  Wurtzburgh,  in  the  pro- 
vince of  Mentz,  Germany. 

As  far  back  as  the  beginning  of  the  13th  century, 
in  the  reign  of  King  John  of  England,  a  charter  of 
incorporation  with  privileges  was  granted  to  Eoss, 
but  no  municipal  records  of  that  period  are  now  ex- 
tant regarding  this  place. 

In  the  time  of  Henry  VIII.,  Eosscarbery  belonged 
to  Mac  Carthy  Eeagh.  A.  D.  1600  a  detachment 
from  the  garrison  at  Kinsale  commanded  by  Sir 
Eicbard  Percy,  marched  into  Carbery  with  the  in- 
tention of  attacking  Eoss,  but  finding  the  place  too 
strongly  fortified,  they  made  a  detour  to  Leap,  and 
a  sudden  raid  on  Kilcoe  (Aughadown),  one  of  the 
M'Carthy  castles,  a  few  miles  to  the  west  of  Skibbe- 
reen  ;  they  seized  on  300  head  of  cattle,  and  desolated 
the  country  as  much  as  they  could. 


228  Sketches  in  Carhery. 

In  1642  MacCartliy  of  Benduff  captured  the  town 
of  Eoss  and  laid  siege  to  Bathbarry  Castle  (the 
ancient  seat  of  the  Barrys  in  Carhery),  now  Castle 
Freke,  which  was  bravely  defended  for  some  months 
by  Arthur  Freke,  the  proprietor ;  he  was  on  the, 
point  of  surrendering,  when  he  was  relieved  by  Sir 
Charles  Vavasour  and  Captain  Jephson,  who  escorted 
Freke  and  his  garrison  safely  to  Bandon,  having  first 
set  fire  to  the  castle  and  its  offices. 

Smith  tells  us  that  "  On  the  12th  May,  1652,  the 
garrison  of  Bosscarbery  surrendered  to  the  Parlia- 
ment's forces,  after  which  everything  remained  quiet 
in  the  country  for  some  time"  (and  not  for  a  very 
long  time  either).  It  is  a  curious  coincidence  that 
nearly  about  the  same  time  Boss  Castle,  Killarney, 
was  surrendered  to  General  Ludlow,  one  of  Crom- 
well's generals,  by  Lord  Musketry  ;  both  of  whjgh 
events  were  the  closing  scenes  in  the  _  sanguinary 
and  prolonged  strife  of  the  Cromwellian  wars  in 

Ireland.  ... 

The  forfeited  lands  of  Bathbarry  and  the  vicinity, 
formerly  the  property  of  the  Barrys  and  O'Heas, 
were  granted  to  William  Penn,  Philip  Perceval,  and 
the  Duke  of  York,  and  the  town  of  Bosscarbery  to 
Captain  Bobert  Gookin. 

In  "  Carbrice  Notitia"  the  writer  states  that  the 
O'Heas  possessed  a  tract  of  land  in  Barryroe,  called 
"Pobble  O'Hea."  Bathbarry  he  describes  as  a 
large  stately  pile  belonging  to  the  Barrys  Ahamilly 
Castle  (ford  of  the  hornless  cows),  near  Clonakilty, 
belonged  to  the  O'Heas,  whilst  the  seven  castles  of 
Dundeedy,Dunowen,Dunore,  Doneen,  Duno-Cowig, 
Dunworley,  and  Dungorley,  built  on  the  bold  head- 
lands of  Ibaune  and  Barryroe,  belonged  to  the 
O'Cowhigs  (victorious),  but  now  nearly  extinct. 

Sketches  in  Carbcry. 


Ross  was  garrisoned  in  the  time  of  James  II.  by 
the  Irish  forces  under  General  MacCarthy,  and  was 
reconnoitred  by  a  detachment  of  William  III.'s 
army ;  the  latter  considered  the  place  impregnable, 
and  bidding  it  a  hasty  adieu,  marched  off  to 

Large  military   barracks  were   formerly   erected 
at  Ross  in  close  proximity  to  the  site  of  St.  Fachnan's 
Monastery.     These  barracks  where  so  many  warlike 
garrisons   had  been   stationed   from   time   to   time 
during  the  stirring  events  of  the  last  two  centuries, 
and  which  changed  masters  as  often  as  the  fortunes 
of  war  veered  from  one  side  to  the  other,  are  now  in 
a  semi-ruinous  condition.    Here  lived  formerly,  after 
the  military  had  evacuated  the  place,  a  branch  of 
the  O'Donovan  (the  Island  branch),  to  whom  the 
town  of  Rosscarbery  belonged,  under  a  lease,  from 
the  end  of  the  18th  century  up  to  within  the  last  ten 
years ;   and  here  also  was  born  in  December,  1807, 
Dr.  Donovan,  senior,  of  Skibbereen. 

Ross,  like  many  other  ancient  towns  in  Ireland, 
gradually  diminished  in  size,  and  declined  in  pros- 
perity, not  keeping  pace  with  the  times,  owing  to 
the  constantly  disturbed  state  of  the  country,  which 
interfered  with  the  proper  development  of  industrial 
resources.  About  sixty-five  years  ago  it  was  the 
busy  centre  of  a  colony  of  linen  weavers,  and  a 
considerable  trade  flourished  in  that  line.  After 
the  decline  of  the  linen  manufactures,  the  prosperity 
of  the  town  was  also  on  the  wane.  Latterly,  how- 
ever, there  has  been  some  advance  in  improve- 

It  is  an  often  told  and  trite  but  true  saying  that 
"Fact  is  stranger  than  fiction."  The  following 
story,  founded  not  only  on  tradition  but  also  on 

230  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

written  testimony,  bears  out  the  adage  in  its  fullest 
sense,  and  certainly  it  is  of  so  startling  a  character' 
as  at  first  not  only  to  excite  doubt  but  also  disbelief 
in  the  minds  of  the  most  imaginative  and  credulous 

There  lived  in  Bandon  during  the  years  1692-1738 
a  clergyman  named  Eichard  Goodman,  who  was 
vicar  of  Ballymodan,  and  whose  father,  the  Rev. 
Thomas  Goodman,  was  Precentor  of  Bosscarbery. 
The  wife  of  the  former  was  attacked  by  a  low 
fever,  and  fell  into .  a  state  of  suspended  anima- 
tion, or  "  trance,"  as  it  is  commonly  called.  She 
was  supposed  at  the  time  to  be  dead,  and  was  ac-' 
cordingly  coffined  and  conveyed  to  Boss  cathedral, 
where  she  was  interred  in  the  family  vault.  Mr. 
Goodman's  butler,  who  observed  a  valuable  diamond 
ring  on  one  of  the  fingers,  had  his  avaricious  pro- 
pensities excited,  and  concealing  himself  in  the 
cathedral  whilst  the  funeral  service  was  going  on, 
he  proceeded  stealthily,  when  night  approached,  to 
secure  the  coveted  prize.  Upon  opening  the  coffin 
the  body  presented  a  swollen  appearance,  and  the 
ring  being  tightly  fastened  on  the  finger,  the  butler 
was  compelled  to  use  his  penknife  in  order  to  get 
possession  of  the  ring.  To  his  amazement  and 
horror,  when  the  blood  flowed  from  the  first  incision, 
the  supposed  corpse,  reanimated  into  life  by  the  sud- 
den violence  and  the  current  of  fresh  air,  raised  her- 
self into  a  sitting  posture,  and  immediately  put  to 
flight  the  covetous  midnight  marauder,  who  must  have 
imagined  his  last  earthly  moments  had  arrived. 

Mrs.  Goodman  became  gradually  resuscitated,  and 
when  morning  broke  she  was  removed  from  the 
vault,  and  was  in  a  short  time  restored  to  her  former 
health  by  nourishment    and   care.     She   lived  for 

Sketches  in  Carboy. 


several  years  after  this  strange  occurrence,  and  even 
had  an  addition  to  her  family — a  son  named  John 
Goodman,  of  whom  Smith  gives  the  following  notice 
in  "  The  History  of  Cork :  "— 

"  Mr.  John  Goodman,  of  Cork,  died  in  January, 
1747,  but  what  is  remarkable  of  him,  his  mother 
was  interred,  whilst  she  lay  in  a  trance ;  having  been 
buried  in  a  vault,  which  she  found  means  to  open, 
she  walked  home,  and  this  Mr.  Goodman  was  born 
some  time  after." 

A  large  oil  painting  of  Mrs.  Goodman  is  still  in 
existence.  On  the  back  -is  a  short  manuscript 
account  of  the  strange  story  we  have  been  de- 

As  the  question  of  Trance  is  an  interesting  study, 
it  may  be  well  to  furnish  some  information  from 
trustworthy  sources  on  this  unusual  condition  of 
animal  existence.  In  Carpenter's  work  on  "Human 
Physiology  "  are  supplied  some  remarks  on  the  sub- 
ject which  we  copy  in  detail : — 

"  Another  form  of  apparent  deatb,  the  existence  of  which 
appears  to  be  well  authenticated,  is  that  sometimes  desiguated 
as  Trance  or  Catalepsy,  in  which  there  is  a  reduction  of  all  the 
organic  functions  to  an  extremely  low  ebb,  but  in  which  con- 
sciousness is  still  preserved,  whilst  the  power  of  voluntary  move- 
ment is  suspended  ;  so  that  the  patient,  although  fully  aware  of 
all  that  is  being  said  and  done  around,  is  unable  to  make  the 
least  visible  or  audible  sound  of  life,  &c.  The  surest  test  by 
which  real  is  certainly  distinguishable  from  apparent  death,  is 
by  the  condition  of  the  muscular  substance,  for  this  gradually 
loses  its  irritability  after  real  death,  so  that  it  can  no  longer  be 
excited  to  contraction  by  electricity  or  any  other  kind  of  stimu- 
lation, and  the  loss  of  irritability  is  succeeded  by  cadaveric 
rigidity.  So  long,  then,  as  the  muscle  retains  its  irritability, 
and  remains  free  from  rigidity,  so  long  we  may  say  with  cer- 
tainty that  it  is  not  dead,  and  the  persistence  of  its  vitality  for 
an  unusual  period  affords  a  presumption  in  favour  of  the  con- 

232  Sketches  in  Carboy. 

tinuance  of  some  degree  of  vital  action- in  the  body  generally  ; 
whilst,  on  tlie  other  hand,  the  entire  loss  of  irritability,  and  the 
supervention  of  rigidity  afford  conclusive  evidence  that  death 
has  occurred,  &c.  The  most  satisfactory  proof,  however  is 
putrefaction.  The  supposed  suspension  of  heart's  action  and 
of  respiration  are  fallacious. 

"Collection  of  cases  from  Mr.  Braid,  obtained  from  British 
officers  in  India,  who  have  been  eye  witnesses  (observations  on 
Trance  or  Human  Hybernation,  1850). 

"  In  one  of  these,  vouched  for  by  Sir  Blande  M.  Wade  (for- 
merly political  agent  at  the  court  of  Rungeet  Singh),  the  Fakeer 
was  buried  in  an  underground  cell,  under  strict  guardianship 
for  six  weeks;  the  body  had  been  thrice  dug  up  by  Runo-eet 
Singh  during  the  period  of  interment,  and  had  been  found  in 
the  same  position  as  when  first  buried. 

"In  another  case  stated  by  Lieut.  Boileau  in  his  'Narrative 
of  a  Journey  in  Jagwarra  in  1835,'  the  man  had  been  buried 
for  ten  days  in  a  grave  lined  with  masonry,  and  covered  with 
large  slabs  of  stone,  and  strictly  guarded,  and  he  assured  Lieut. 
B.  that  he  was  ready  to  submit  to  an  interment  of  twelve  months' 
duration  if  desired.  In  a  third  case  narrated  by  Mr.  Braid,W 
trial  was  made  under  the  direct  superintendence  of  a  British 
officer,  a  period  of  nine  days  having  been  stipulated  for  on  the 
part  of  the  devotee,  but  this  was  shortened  to  three,  at  the  desire 
of  the  officer,  who  feared  lest  he  should  incur  blame  if  the  result 
was  fatal.  _  The  appearance  of  the  body  when  first  disinterred  is 
described,  in  all  instances,  as  having  been  quite  corpse-like,  and 
no  pulsation  could  be  detected  in  the  heart  or  in  the  arteries. 
The  means  of  restoration  employed  were  chiefly  warmth  to  the 
vortex,  and  friction  to  the  body  or  limbs.  It  may  be  remarked 
that  the  possibility  of  the  protraction  of  such  a  state  (supposing 
that  no  deception  vitiates  the  authenticity  of  the  narrative  re- 
ferred to)  can  be  much  better  comprehended  as  occurring  in 
India,  than  having  taken  place  in  this  country,  since  the  warmth 
of  the  tropical  atmosphere  would  prevent  any  serious  loss  of 
heat,  such  as  must  sooner  occur  in  a  colder  climate,  when  the 
processes  whereby  it  is  generated  are  brought  to  a  stand." 

Many  other  cases  of  Trance  might  be  referred  to 
to  prove  that  Mrs.  Goodman's  was  neither  impossible 
or  even  exceptional  in  its  nature.     "VVe  will  merely 

Sketches  in  Carbery.  233 

select  one  more,  which,  strange  to  say,  partakes 
somewhat  of  a  humorous  character.  The  description 
is  taken  from  an  ancient  magazine  : — 

"In  connection  with  the  subject  of  unxpected  reanimation, 
the  case  of  Sir  Hugh  Ackland,  of  Kellerton,  Devonshire,  may 
be    mentioned   as   most  extraordinary.     This   gentleman  was 
seized  with  a  violent  fever,  and  having  apparently  expired  had 
been  laid  out   as   dead.      The  nurse    and  two   footmen  were 
appointed  to  sit  up  through  the  night  to  watch  the  corpse. 
Lady  Ackland,  to  cheer  them,  had  sent  them  a  bottle  of  brandy, 
whereupon  one  of  the  footmen,   '  being  an  arch  rogue,'  said  to 
the  other,   '  master  dearly  loved  brandy  when  he  was  alive,  and 
now,  though  he  is  dead,  I  am  determined  he  shall  have  a  glass 
with  us  1 '     Accordingly  he  poured  out  a  bumper,  and  forced  it 
down  Sir  Hugh's  throat.    A  gurgling  noise  immediately  ensued, 
accompanied  with  a  violent  motion  of  the  neck  and  upper  part 
of  the  chest.     A  terrible  consternation  seized  the  watchers,  who 
rushed  violently  down  stairs,   '  the  brandy  genius'  with  such 
speed  that  he  fell,  and  rolled  head-over-heels,  bumping  down 
from  step  to  step  till  he  reached  the  bottom;   while  the   nurse 
screamed  with  terror.    The  noise  having  roused  a  young  gentle- 
man, who  was  sleeping  in  the  house,   he  immediately  got   up 
and  went  to  the  room  where  the  noise  had  first  begun.     There 
to  his  astonishment  he  saw  Sir  Hugh  sitting  upright  in  the  bed. 
He  summoned  the  servants,  and  ordering  them  to  place  their 
master  in  a  warm  bed,  sent  off  for  his  medical  attendants.     In 
a  few  weeks   Sir  Hugh   was   restored  to   perfect  health,  and 
lived  many  years  afterwards.     He  often   used  to   relate    this 
strange  story  of  his  own  resuscitation  by  his  footman's  facetious 
conceit,  for  which  he  is  said  to  have  bequeathed  him  a  handsome 

TJp  to  the  year  1748  Boss  remained  as  a 
separate  and  distinct  Eoman  Catholic  diocese  :  it 
was  then  joined  to  Cloyne,  and  remained  so  until 
the  Synod  of  Thurles,  1851,  when  it  was  restored  to 
its  original  independent  position.  The  late  amiahle 
and  accomplished  Eight  Eev.  Dr.  Keane  was  the 
first  bishop  under  the  new  regime,  and  he  was  sue- 

234  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

ceeded  by  the  present  esteemed  bishop,  the  Bight 
Eev.  Dr.  O'Hea  (1858),  who  is  a  worthy  and  dis- 
tinguished successor  to  the  long  line  of  illustrious 
prelates  who  have  preceded  him  in  the  See  of  Ross. 

That  ancient  See,  indeed,  is  both  venerable  and 
renowned;  venerable  by  reason  of  the  lengthened 
period  (thirteen  centuries)  which  has  elapsed  since 
it  was  first  established  by  St.  Fachnan,  and  renowned 
for  the  sanctity,  learning,  and  philanthropy  of  those  ; 
great  and  pious  prelates,  like  St.  Fachnan,  De  Cour- 
cey,  O'Herlihy,  andMacEgan,  the  lustre  of  whose 
names,  and  the  memory  of  whose  bright  deeds,  are 
neither  obscured  nor  dimmed  by  age  but  shine  forth 
even  now  with  more  than  redoubled  splendour. 

The  present  Roman  Catholic  church,  a  handsome, 
commodious  building,  was  erected  by  the  Eev.  Jere- 
miah Molony,  P.  P.,  who  also  was  instrumental  in 
building  schools  for  the  education  of  children.  He 
was  uncle  to  the  present  respected  P.P.  of  Ross- 
carbery,  the  Eev.  J.  Molony,  Y.  Gr.  of  Eoss. . 

"Within  the  ancient  graveyard  of  Ross  what  inte- 
resting, though  sad,  associations  of  the  past  are  re- 
called to  our  minds  !  What  memories  are  awakened, 
when  we  reflect  that  we  stand  on  holy  ground, 
where  many  centuries  ago  an  ancient  monastery 
flourished,  whose  occupants  were  men  of  distin- 
guished piety  and  learning  ;  and  that  here  rest  the 
honoured  remains  of  many  of  our  countrymen,  whose 
noble  aspirations  and  good  acts  are  deserving  of 
more  than  a  passing  tribute  of  affectionate  remem- 
brance and  praise. 

The  old  term,  Ross  Alithir  (the  Field  or  "Wood  of 
Pilgrimage),  may  still  be  applied  with  some  truth 
to  the  Rosscarbery  of  the  present  day.  On  the  24th 
June  (St.  John's  eve)  every  year,  may  be  observed 

Sk-'tches  in  Carbery.  .  -*  235 

crowds  of  devotees,  from  various  parts  of  the  south 
of  Ireland,  and  even  sometimes  from  England, 
wending  their  way  to  the  tomh  of  the  Rev.  John 
Power,  P.  P.,  who  died  in  1831,  and  was  buried 

He  was  a  man  of  very  amiable  character,  and  said 
to  have  possessed  some  knowledge  of  the  healing 
art,  and,  being  greatly  loved  and  respected  by  the 
people  whilst  he  lived,  his  memory  has  been  honoured 
by  them  since  his  death  in  a  proportionate  degree. 
On  each  anniversary  of  his  birthday  a  large  congre- 
gation assembles  in  the  vicinity  of  the  graveyard 
and  around  the  tomb — the  lame,  the  blind,  the  old 
and  young,  the  healthy  and  sick,  and  destitute  people 
soliciting  alms. 

"Whilst  some  are  praying  and  begging,  others,  who 
have  come  for  amusement  sake,  or  as  sight-seers,  are 
wandering  about  the  town,  laughing,  eating,  drink- 
ing, gossiping,  and  match-making. 

Of  late  years  the  numbers  visiting  the  tomb  on  St. 
John's  eve  have  fallen  off  somewhat.  On  St.  John's 
night  all  the  hills  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Eoss,  and, 
in  fact,  throughout  the  country,  present  a  sight  most 
interesting  to  the  student  of  the  picturesque  and  an- 
tique ;  bonfires  blaze  in  every  direction.  It  shows 
how  some  of  the  old  customs  are  still  observed  even 
in*  the  nineteenth  century,  and  that  the  practice, 
whose  origin  carries  us  back  into  the  shadowy  past 
of  over  two  thousand  years  ago,  still  lingers  on  at 
the  present  day. 

It  is  said  by  historians  that  St.  Patrick,  when 
converting  the  people  of  Ireland,  engrafted  several 
of  the  pagan  rites  on  Christian  observance  so  as  to 
gradually  smooth  the  way  to  a  complete  reform. 
One  of  the  most  ancient  pagan  superstitions  was  the 

236  Sketches  in  Carbery. 

lighting  of  the  Bel-teine  Fires  on  the  1st  May, 
and  also  at  the  summer  solstice.  Yery  few  of 
the  many  thousands  who  kindled  the  bonfire  on  the 
hill-side,  and  leaped  for  merriment  sake  through  the 
flickering  blaze,  are  aware  that  similar  customs  were 
observed  by  their  pagan  ancestors.  It  is  consoling, 
however,  to  reflect  that  whereas  the  Druids  lit  their 
fires  to  propitiate  the  fierce  Baal,  whose  good 
graces  they  believed  were  only  to  be  obtained  by 
strange  orgies,  our  modern  fires  were  lit  with  the 
opposite  intent,  viz. :  As  so  many  beacons  of  joy 
and  happiness  to  commemorate  the  advent  of  a 
saintly  man,  and  not  to  inaugurate  the  unholy  rites 
of  a  pagan  deity. 

Deeper  research,  and  perhaps  more  careful  obser- 
vation will  yet  bring  to  light  many  interesting  details 
connected  with  the  local  history  and  antiquities  of 
Carbery.  However,  I  am  reminded  that  I  have 
already  carried  to  a  sufficient  length  the  series  of 
sketches  I  have  been  engaged  in  writing.  Many 
interesting  circumstances,  and  perhaps  some  impor- 
tant facts  have  been  either  glossed  over,  or  forgotten. 

I  trust,  however,  that  I  have  contrived  in  some 
degree  to  awaken  the  curiosity  and  satisfy  the  dis- 
criminating taste  of  those  who  take  an  interest  in  the 
ancient  records  and  legendary  lore  of  our  native 

The  student  of  history  and  the  admirer  of  scenery 
will  always  find  in  every  direction  portrayed  on  the 
face  of  the  country  striking  features,  both  natural 
and  artistic,  which  are  well  deserving  of  notice,  and 
worthy  of  being  described,  and  the  records  of  which 
can  only  be  elucidated  by  close  study  and  patient 

If  I  have  been  instrumental  in  affording  either 

-, — __ 

Sketches  in  Garbery.  237 

amusement  or  instruction  to  my  readers,  whilst  avoid- 
ing the  introduction  of  any  subject  which  could  pro- 
duce hostile  criticism  ;  and  if,  moreover,  I  have  in  the 
foregoing  chapters  supplied  any  matters  of  interest 
which  might  help  them  to  "while  away  a  leisure 
hour;"  any  time,  or  trouble,  I  may  have  devoted 
to  the  completion  of  "The  Sketches  in  Carbery" 
will  not  pass  away  unrewarded. 

THE    END. 


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Downing,  Francis,  solicitor.     Killarney. 

Dennehy,  Henry,  Very  Rev.  Canon,  P.  P.     Kanturk. 

D'Acre,  E.  A.     Fermoy. 

Deasy,  Miss.     Ringmeen,  Queenstown. 

Davis,  Rev.  Charles,  C.  C.     Castletownsend. 

Doherty,  J.,  solicitor.     Bandon. 

Eamks,  J.,  M.  D.     Eglinton  Asylum,  Cork. 

Emerson,  Rev.  Edward,  B.  D.     Coolkilure,  Dunmanway. 

Furlong,  Mrs.     Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary.     (2  copies.) 

Finn,  Rev.  J.,  P.  P.     Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary. 

Fitzmaurice,  F.,  solicitor.     Dunmanway. 

Ferguson,  Robert,  Q.  C.     Upper  Mount-street,  Dublin. 

French,  Sampson.     Cuskinny,  Co.  Cork. 

Furlong,  Mrs.  J.     Enniscorthy,  Co.  "Wexford. 

Fannin,  Messrs.  &  Co.     Grafton-street,  Dublin. 

Glasscott,  John.    Dublin  Castle.     (2  copies.) 


List  of  Subscribers.  241 

Gallwey,  Thomas.     Glenburn,  Glanmire,  Cork,     (i  coni**  ^ 
Gallwey,  Mrs.  M.     Kinsale.  Co.  Cork,  ^copies.) 

Gall  way,  Michael.     Kinsale,  Co.  Cork. 
Gallwey.  Miss.     Kinsale,  Co.  Cork. 
Gallwey,  Denis,  J.  P.     Greenfield,  Clonakilty. 
Gallwey,  Henry.     Tramore,  Co.  Waterford. 
Gallwey,  William,  D.  L.     Tramore,  Co.  Waterford. 
Goodman,  Rev.  J.     Glebe,  Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 
Gunn,  Hugh  M.     Newcastle  West,  Co.  Limerick. 
Gillman,  Mrs.     The  Retreat,  Clonakilty. 

Hnx,  Eev.  P.,  C.  C,  Administrator.    Skibbereen.    (3  copies  ) 

Hadden,  David,  M.  D.     Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 

Hadden,  David,  M,  D.,  jun.     Bandon. 

Hadden,  John,  M.  D.     Lincolnshire. 

Hadden,  George.    Provincial  Bank,  Cork. 

Heas,  P.,  M.  D.     Clonakilty,  Co.  Cork. 

Harvey,  J.,  M.  D.     Cork. 

Hely,  John.     Glenshelane,  Co.  Waterford. 

Humphreys,  George.     Glanmire,  Cork. 

Hegarty,  Rev.  J.     SS.  Peter  and  Paul,  Cork. 

Harris,  B.     Munster  Bank,  Mitchelstown. 

Henry,  Mitchell,  M.  P.  Kylemore  Castle,  Co.  Galway.  (2  corses  ^ 

Hicks,  J.,  M.  D.     Schull,  Co.  Cork.     (2  copies.)  cuPies-J 

Hutchins,  Arthur,  J.  P.     Bantry. 

Hayes,  J.     The  Mill,  Louriga,  Skibbereen. 

Hore,  Mrs.     Enniscorthy,  Co.  Wexford. 

Hungerford,  B.  B.,  J.  P.     Ballyrisard,  Skibbereen. 

Hennessy,  John,  T.  C.    Skibbereen. 

Hennessy,  Rev.,  C.  C.     Sherkin. 

Johnston,  J.,  M.  D.     2,  Park  View,  Cork.     (2  copies.) 

Jenkins,  Mrs.     Kinsale. 

Joyce,  John.     Cork. 

Jervois,  Sampson.     Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 

Keating,  J.     Hotel,  Cahir,  Co.  Tipperary. 
Kingston,  Rev.  P.,  C.  C.     Clonakilty. 
Kelleher,  M.     Skibbereen. 

Levis,  Dr.     Glenview,  Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 
Leader,  Rev.  T.     Ballyclough,  Mallow.     (2  copies.) 
Leonard,  J.,  M.  D.     North  Earl-street,  Dublin. 



242  List  of  Subscribers. 

Ledwich,  J.,  M.  D.    Dublin. 

Leslie,  J.,  druggist.     Dublin. 

Leonard,  Charles.     Waterford. 

Lyons,  Rev.  J.,  C.  C.     Inchigeela. 

Lucey,  Rev.  J;,  P.  P.     Barryroe,  Timoleague. 

Limrick,  John,  J.  P.     Union  Hall. 

Limrick,  William,  M.  D.  I.     Liverpool. 

Leachman,  Livingston.     Bally mecarbery,  Co.  Waterford. 

MacCarthy,  Daniel  (Glas.)    Barnstaple,  Devonshire. 

Marmion,  Henry,  J.  P.     Rineen,  Castletownsend.     (5  copies) 

MacCarthy,    Florence    D.,    J.  P.       Glencurragh,    Skibbe-'    ' 
reen.     (5  copies.) 

MacCarthy,  John  G.,  M.  P.     Cork.     (3  copies.) 

M'Carthy,  A.     Buxton-terrace,  Cork. 

M'Fadden,  W.     Hibernian  Bank,  Cork.     (2  copies.) 

Morgan,  Captain  Anthony.     Bunnalunn.     (2  copies.) 

M'Carthy,  Denis,  J.  P.  Coulagh  Cottage,  Ballydehob..'  (2  copies.) 

M'Donnell,  J.,  M.  D.     Upper  Fitzwilliam- street,  Dublin. 

M'Cartie,  Daniel.     North.street,  Skibbereen. 

M'Cartie,  Robert.     Main-street,  Skibbereen. 

M'Cormack,  J.,  M.  D.     Goleen. 

Murphy,  S.     Banard,  Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary. 

MacCarthy,  Right  Rev.  Dr.,  R.  C.  Bishop  of  Cloyne.    Queens- 

Mason,  J:     Munster  Bank,  Dunmanway. 

M'Carthy,  Francis.     Queenstown. 

Mundy,  Mrs.  Pierrepont.     Ridgeway,  Gloucestershire. 

Morrogh,  Mac  Carthy,  J.  P.     Innisbeg,  Skibbereen. 

Mulcahy,  W.     Corrabella  House,  Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary. 

Mulcahy,  John.     Nedden's  House,  Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary. 

Mulcahy,  Edward.     Kenilworth,  Newcastle,  Co.  Tipperary. 

Murray,  Rev.  T.  L.,  P.  P.     Inniscarra,  Co.  Cork. 

Morris,  W.  F.     Durrus,  Bantry. 

M'Swiney,  Rev.  Eugene,  C.  C.     Ballincollig. 

Molony,  Very  Rev.  Jeremiah,  P.  P.,  V.  G.     Rosscarbery. 

MacCarthy,  Patrick.     30,  Acre-street,  Bradford,  Yorkshire. 

Maguire,  Mrs.     Ardmanas;h,  Passage  West,  Cork. 

M'Cartie,  Rev.  Denis,  CO.     St.  Mary's  Church,  Jersey  City, 
New  Jersey,  United  States,  America.     (5  copies.) 

Noonax,  Francis,  solicitor.     Clonakilty. 
Notter,  R.  H.,  J.  P.     Schull,  Co.  Cork. 

List  of  Subscribers.  243 

Newman,  Henry,  J.  P.     Betsborough,  Skibbereen. 
Notter,  Mrs.  T.     Skibbereen. 
Nyhan,  James.     Drimoleague. 

O'Donovan,  The.     Lissard,  Skibbereen.     (5  copies.) 
O'Connor,  Denis,  M.  D.     Camden-place,  Cork.     (3  copies.) 
O'Hea,  Henry,  B.  L.     Dublin.     (5  copies.) 
O'Hea,  Right  Rev.  Dr.,  R.  C.  Bishop  of  Ross.     Skibbereen. 

(5  copies.) 
O'Donovan,  Miss.     9,  Leeson-villa,  Dublin. 
O'Keeffe,  Kev.  C,  P.  P.     Drimoleague. 
O'Sullivan,  Rev.  J.,  C.  C.     Rosscarbery.     (2  copies.) 
O'Regan,  Rev.  P.,  P.  P.     Schull.     (2  copies.) 
O'Brien,  Rev.  S.,  C.  C.     Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 
O'Driscoll,  A.     Summer  Hill,  Cork.     (2  copies.) 
O'Grady,  Standish,  B.  L.     1,  Upper  Pembroke-street,  Dublin. 
O'Donoghue,  W.  P.     Dublin. 
O'Byrne,  Rev.  W.  S.,  O.  S.  A.     Cork. 
O'Leary,  Rev.  J.,  C.  C.     Cape  Clear.     (2  copies.) 
O'Sullivan,  Rev.  D.,  C.  C.     Kilcoe. 
O'Hea,  Mrs.  Mary.     Clonakilty. 
O'Donovan,  J.,  M.  D.     Leinster-road,  Kingstown. 
O'Sullivan,  S.,  M.  D.     Camden-place,  Cork. 
O'Grady,  Rev.  W.  W.,  Rector.     Drimoleague. 
O'Keeffe,  J.,  M.  D.     Spike  Island,  Co.  Cork. 
O'Sullivarr,  P.     Ballymena,  Co.  Wexford.     (2  copies.) 
O'Connolly,  Dr.  James.     Durrus,  Bantry. 
O'Flaherty,  Peter.     New  Ross,  Enniscorthy,  Co.  "Wexford. 
O'Shea,  J.,  National  Teacher.     Castledonovan,  Drimoleague. 
O'Neill,  W.     Gorey,  Wexford. 
O'Neill,  Rev.  F.,  P.  P.     Gorey,  Co.  Wexford. 
O'Driscol,  F.     Coolbawn,  Drimoleague. 
O'Callaghan,  James,  R.  I.  C.     Drimoleague. 
O'Hea,  P.,  solicitor.     Skibbereen. 

Pbendergast,  James,  J.  P.    Ardfinana  Castle,  Co.  Tipperary. 
Palmer,  Elliott.     Day-place,  Tralee.     (2  copies.) 
Philips,  James.     Bandon  Arms'  Hotel,  Durrus,  Bantry. 

Reidy,  Maurice.     Castle  Island,  Co.  Kerry. 
Robinson,  George,  J.  P.     Coronea,  Skibbereen. 
Ronayne,  J.,  M.  P.     Ring  Ronain,  Queenstown. 
Riordau,  J.     Brighton-terrace,  Cork.     (2  copies.) 

_^_ — — 


244  List  of  Subscribers. 

Reordan,  Mrs.     Townsend- street,  Skibbereen.     (3  copies.) 
Riordan,  Thomas,  B.  L.     Lower  Mount-street,  Dublin. 
Raycroft,  J.     Townsend-stree't,  Skibbereen. 

Somerville,  Col.,  J.  P.     Castletownsend,  Co.  Cork. 
Somerville,  James,  M.  D.     Union  Hall,  Co.  Cork.     (3  copies.) 
Somerville,  D.  A.     Ballincollig,  Cork.     (3  copies.) 
Somerville,  Thomas,  J.  P.     The  Prairie,  Schull. 
Sullivan,  A.M.,  M. P.     Dublin.     (3  copies.) 
Sullivan,  D.  B.,  B.  L.     Dublin. 
St.  Lawrence,  Mrs.     Castletownsend.     (2  copies.) 
Starkie,  William,  R.  M.     Queenstown. 
Swanton,  Robert.     Ballybawn,  Ballydehob. 
j..  Swanton,  James  H.     Pembroke-road,  Dublin. 

Sheehy,  M.,  jun.     Skibbereen. 
Sheehy,  T.     The  Square,  Skibbereen. 
Sheehan,  Miss.     Post  Office,  Leap. 
Starkey,  William,  M.  D.     Dublin. 
Stokes,  Edward  Day,  J.  P.     Tralee,  Co.  Kerry. 
Sweeny,  Owen.     Farrenconner,  Castletownsend. 
Shipsey,  J.     Cape  Clear. 
Sullivan,  J.,  P.  L.  G.     Union  Hall. 
Sheehan,  Very  Rev.  Canon,  P.  P.     Bantry. 

Townsend,  John,  J.  P.     Glandore. 
Troy,  Kev,  R.,  P.  P.     Castletownsend. 
Thacker,  J.     Molesworth-place,  Dublin. 
Taylor,  Mrs.     Greenmount,  Skibbereen. 

Waldo,  Edward  M.     Stonewall  Park,  Kent. 

Walter,  Henry.     St.  George's  Hall,  Liverpool. 

Wilson,  Dr.     Lower  Baggot  -street,  Dublin. 

Wright,  George,  B.  L.     Lower  Baggot-street,  Dublin. 

AVright,  Henry,  solicitor.     Clonakilty. 

Wade,  Robert,  M.  D.     Great  Brunswick-street,  Dublin. 

Welply,  Miss.     Upton  House,  Upton.     (2  copies.) 

Wise,  Charles,  Rochestown,  Co.  Tipperary. 

Walsh,  John.     Rossogh,  Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 

Walsh,  J.     Luriga,  Skibbereen.     (2  copies.) 

Printed  by  M'Glashan  &  GUI,  50,  Upper  SackvUle-st.,  Dublin. 



APR  98 

(Bound  -To-Pleu^  N.  MANCHESTER  I 
INDIANA  46962       '